Congregating, forming relationships, networking, and sharing each other's historical knowledge is important to how we grow intellectually as historians and archivists. We share our knowledge, research, interest, and resources in seeing what new ideas or topics can be explored. Just like what the founders of the first historical societies in the U.S. had in mind (see Entry #6: Gathering Historians in Several Places), people gather together for the purpose of historical enrichment.
National and professional organizations are another pivotal resource for researchers, historians, archivists, and authors for networking and getting more involved with the history community. More or less, it's very likely you've heard of a few of these organizations while enrolled in school or helping independent researchers. Groups like the American Historical Association (American Historical Association Home Page | AHA ) or the Society of American Archivists (Home | Society of American Archivists ) the American Association for State and Local History (Home Page | About, contact, membership, jobs, etc. ) the Organization of American Historians (Organization of American Historians: Home) the American Alliance of Museums (The American Alliance of Museums ) or the National Council on Public History (http://ncph.org/). These are just a handful of the thousands of groups across the world dedicated to the study of history.
Not only can one join these groups and take advantage of their services and resources, they are communities for people to share their ideas and interact with one another. They can be incredibly helpful for those wanting to publicly present their research, ask for assistance, or even find jobs, they're that comprehensive! Organizations regularly host regional and national conferences to announce new publications, sponsor presentations, and host workshops for attendees. Especially for students, these conferences are pivotal in networking with history groups and people and getting your name out there for future research and maybe even career opportunities.
Historical organizations are the historian's consortium! We gather together so we can learn together!