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Finally! A Seat at the Cool Kids’ Table!

In 2000, I met Trina Nelson Thomas, IHS senior director of public programs, at a field school in Bloomington.  We roomed together for three weeks and I learned a lot about IHS. I thought what a great place IHS would be to work.  Now, I’m here!

My name is Tamara Hemmerlein, and I am very excited to be the Hoosier Heritage Alliance coordinator in Local History Services. For the next two years, I will help to carry out an IMLS Connecting to Collections Implementation Grant. The major components of my job will be teaching basic collections care and management to staff and volunteers of Indiana local history organizations, developing a traveling exhibit and a poster, and planning training conferences and web-based or other distance learning. I will be helping heritage organizations advocate for increased funding from their communities and donors for collections stewardship.

Before joining the LHS staff, I worked at two small institutions in Crawfordsville – home of the Dairylicious Boston, a traditional milkshake with vanilla soft serve ice cream injected into the center. I was the executive director of the Montgomery County Cultural Foundation, Rotary Jail Museum for 12 years and the Montgomery County Historical Society for eight.

While I was there, I heard a little boy exclaim that he had seen things right in his hometown touched by three presidents. I saw a woman get teary eyed because she saw the hat her great-great grandmother had woven. Those objects had real meaning for them.

Caring for history and its artifacts is a huge responsibility and one which Indiana’s local history organizations have chosen gladly. I am proud to be a part of something so important and look forward to visiting Indiana’s heritage organizations.


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