In 2021 the RI Historical Records Advisory Board offered a speaker series throughout the year with support from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission!

This year’s education series includes workshops on Grant Writing, Accession and Deaccession Techniques, and DIY Conservation.


“Yes, you, can! DIY Conservation Treatments” with Donia Conn – Watch on YouTube!

Donia Conn

Donia Conn, Assistant Professor of Practice, Simmons University
Donia Conn is Assistant Professor of Practice for the Simmons University School of Library and Information Science as well as independent preservation and collection care consultant for small and mid-sized cultural heritage institutions with over 20 years of experience.  Ms. Conn is also a private book and paper conservator and a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation (AIC).  She earned her BA in Mathematics from St. Olaf College and her MLIS with Advanced Certificate in Conservation from the University of Texas-Austin.  Previously, Donia has worked for the Northeast Document Conservation Center, Northwestern University, and Syracuse University.

Program: Small institutions face many challenges right now and many may feel they have lost control over just about everything. This workshop won’t help with daily life, it will give you control over the care of your collections in a more proactive, practical, and ultimately satisfying way. There are many things you can learn to do for yourself and in this session, you will learn to make protective sleeves for the storage and access of photographs small and large, modify pamphlet binders to store a variety of objects, make simple wrappers for books, and make simple cradles for displaying books while on exhibit. With a few tools and easy-to-get materials, there is a lot you can take control. Yes, you, can!

Program date: Live session occurred October 1, 2021, 9:00AM

Previous Workshops

“Managing Complex Collections” with Dana Signe K. Munroe – Watch on YouTube

Dana Signe K. Munroe, Registrar, Rhode Island Historical Society
As Registrar of the 199-year-old Rhode Island Historical Society, Dana Signe K. Munroe manages the institution’s collections tracking and processing. Be it a manuscript, book, or tin cup, she makes sure it gets the correct identification and treatment. This includes the important work of accessioning and deaccessioning collection materials. Additionally, she serves as the database administrator for the R.I.H.S. collections management and cataloging database, MINISIS, and as the technical lead for the project.  Dana Signe has over 20 years of diverse experience in libraries and museums in Southeast New England. She is skilled in reference services, cataloging of all types of materials, graphic and visual collection access, museum curation, and exhibit design. 

Program Description: What is this old paper manuscript, or twisty piece of metal, and why do we have it in the historical collection? A similar question can be heard in collection storage areas of every size institution. This workshop will help you build a foundation of resources about the manuscript or piece of metal that will help answer that question. We will cover accessioning best practices and what is actually practical and achievable in the real world; deaccession and disposal best practices and related laws and paperwork; accession file creation and maintenance with introduction to inventorying and object numbering.

Program date: Live session was June 25, 2021

Grant Writing Basics: Watch on YouTube

“Thank you so much, Beth! This is has been extremely useful, especially for someone as new to grant-writing as I am.”
Wren. J., Workshop Attendee

Beth Plummer-Ricci, Grants Manager, Providence Public Library
“I’m a dynamic grant professional with a decade of nonprofit development experience, particularly in the realm of youth and adult education and workforce development. I served as Grants Manager for Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island for five years before joining Providence Public Library (PPL) in 2015. As Grants Manager at PPL, I have been instrumental in the development and continued growth of the myriad new programming and services we have unveiled since 2014–catalyzed by our THINK AGAIN strategic plan, which strove to transform the Library’s traditional offerings to better meet the needs of our 21st century community. Since 2015, I have played a lead role not only in researching, cultivating, securing, and sustaining more than $6.3 million in new and increased grant funding from diverse federal, state, corporate, and family foundation sources, but in working collaboratively with staff throughout the organization to support in-depth program development; develop program budgets, evaluation systems, tracking and reporting systems, and other related tasks essential to maximizing PPL’s organization-wide grant capacity and competitiveness; and to generally help turn our staff’s brilliant ideas for new and expanded community programming into reality, with the funding necessary to make these ideas a success. I have also played a key role in fundraising for PPL’s $26 million THINK AGAIN renovation–the largest library renovation in RI’s history–and have personally supported and cultivated $3 million in grant funding for this project alone.”

Program: This workshop will provide a comprehensive overview on all things related to grantseeking. Beyond just the technical aspects of developing proposals and budgets, it will cover the full range of activities, considerations, and capacity building measures needed to achieve a consistently high level of success in winning grants, managing grants, building relationships with grantors, and creating programming that is fundable and sustainable overall. Whether you’re a complete novice or have previous experience with grants, this workshop will help you skill-up and enhance your approach to grantseeking.

Program date: April 16, 2021, 9:00a.m.-12:00p.m.