2022 Reuben Gold Thwaites Trophy Award | Wisconsin Historical Society

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2022 Reuben Gold Thwaites Trophy Award Winner Announced

2022 Reuben Gold Thwaites Trophy Award | Wisconsin Historical Society

The Ripon Historical Society received the 2022 Reuben Gold Thwaites Trophy for Local History from the Wisconsin Historical Society. The award recognizes the impact of the Ripon Historical Society's services and the role it has played in preserving and sharing the unique history of this community.

About the Ripon Historical Society

The Reuben Gold Thwaites Trophy recognizes an affiliated historical organization for continued excellence and overall service to its community over a period of at least five years. The Ripon Historical Society (RHS) has demonstrated excellence in collecting, preserving, and sharing local history since 1899. Reuben Gold Thwaites traveled by train to Ripon and Green Bay in 1899 to oversee the incorporation of the Society's first two affiliated societies.

The RHS serves the community of Ripon, a city of about 7,800 residents in Fond du Lac County. The society is largely run by volunteers and employs a part-time administrator. The RHS is succeeding in its commitment to not only sustain but to strengthen the organization through community engagement, public programs, and telling stories that reach new audiences. The Ripon Historical Society practices a community-centered approach to the organization's processes. A broad spectrum of people with a wide range of skills and interests are involved in collecting, preserving, and sharing local history, including volunteers, scholars, staff, visitors, students, and other community members.

The Ripon Historical Society maintains professional standards for the care and management of museum and archival collections. Collections are housed in climate-controlled storage and managed with museum collections software. An active schedule of public programs and new exhibits are planned and presented throughout the year, many in collaboration with faculty and students from Ripon College. The RHS community partners include Ripon College, Ripon High School, Boy Scouts, Rotary Club, and the City of Ripon. The RHS is reaching new audiences with a communications strategy that includes an updated website, social media accounts, a digital newsletter, and weekly newspaper column.

The Ripon Historical Society's thoughtful and strategic approach to developing new audiences, designing exhibits and programs that interpret diverse stories, and community engagement with varied partners demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to community service. The Ripon Historical Society believes that, over time, improvements in services to the public, even small changes, will ultimately create transformative change in how community members connect with RHS and how that connection enriches their lives.

The Ripon Historical Society was last awarded the Thwaites Trophy in 1975.

About the Award

Named for the Wisconsin Historical Society's second director, the Reuben Gold Thwaites Trophy recognizes one local historical society each year that has demonstrated a commitment to excellence and a record of success in collecting and preserving local history in its various forms.

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