The Conference is an annual meeting of the societies from throughout middle Tennessee and is devoted to improving operations of the societies -- resolving common issues and concerns, improving communications between sister societies, and sharing successes on their home fronts.
Representatives attended from Rutherford, Coffee, Warren, White, Sequatchie, and Bedford Counties, as well as the Tennessee State Library and Archives, the Nashville Public Library, and the Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society.
The meeting began with registration at 8:30 a.m. and setting up society displays, followed by morning coffee and refreshments provided by members of the Bedford County Historical Society. The program kicked off at 9 a.m. with an official welcome to Bedford County by Society President Al Simmons, after which individual societies and their attendees were introduced.
Following a short break, Linda Barnickel, archivist and oral historian from the Nashville Public Library led a workshop on "Oral History Interviews." She introduced the group to the basic principles of oral history, including the value of oral history, its pitfalls, appropriate planning, question development, interview techniques and legal issues.
Following lunch, Simmons led the second meeting workshop on "Growing Society Membership." His slideshow presentation addressed several topics, including society structure and bylaws, meetings and programs, publications, membership promotions, community involvement, and member participation.
Warren and Bedford County Society presidents then gave a powerpoint presentation on "Community Outreach," featuring their participation in the local community events and affairs.
After a discussion of current issues facing today's societies, the Middle Tennessee Genealogical Society volunteered to host the 2014 Conference. The meeting adjourned at 3 p.m.