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Historical conference begins today


LTN Staff Reports


The fourth annual genealogical conference, hosted by the Lincoln County Historical Association and Gaston-Lincoln Genealogical Society, is set to kick off its festivities tonight in downtown Lincolnton.

Beginning at 6:30 p.m., a book presentation and signing for Rodney Steward’s new book, “David Schenck and the Contours of Confederate Identity,” will take place at Pleasant Retreat Academy/Memorial Hall, located at 129 E. Pine St.

Saturday’s program will get under way at 9 a.m. at the Lincoln Cultural Center with keynote speaker Dr. Kevin Cherry, deputy secretary for archives and history in the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources and a native of Denver.

Cherry’s presentation is entitled “Genealogy to Family History: Sources, Obscure Documents, and Online Resources.”

“We are honored to welcome Dr. Kevin Cherry as this year’s featured speaker,” said Jason Harpe, executive director of the LCHA.

Prior to assuming his position at the Cultural Resources Department, Cherry served as a senior program officer at the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the nation’s chief source of federal support for libraries and museums. At IMLS, he coordinated grants for education and continuing education for librarians, archivists and museum professionals.

He has also taught at East Carolina University and was the Department of Cultural Resources’ consultant for special collections, leading N.C. ECHO, the statewide library and museum digitization project. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. An archivist by training, his Ph.D. is in information science, with a concentration in archives and cultural informatics.

Those registered for this year’s event will also attend instructional presentations throughout the day from Kathy Sullivan, Robert Carpenter, Jim Pyatt and Christopher Meekins, with topics to cover resolving genealogical puzzles, preserving church records, Civil War voices and effectively using records of the State Archives of North Carolina.

The conference will conclude with a wine-and-cheese social and tour of the historic Shadow Lawn residence, located at 301 W. Main St., at 3 p.m.

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