22:3 (2007:09) 22nd Conference (2007): Opening Session

August 30, 2007 at 1:30 pm | Posted in Conference Reports | Leave a comment

22nd CONFERENCE (2007)

Reported by Susan Markley

The opening program for NASIG’s 22nd Annual Conference began with the introduction of the 2007 NASIG award recipients, followed by a warm welcome from the Dean of the University of Louisville Libraries, Hannelore Rader.  She spoke briefly about the university with its diverse student and faculty population, and the varied services that the Libraries on campus offered. Rader was followed by the delightful keynote speaker, Louisville historian and professor, Tom Owen.

Dr. Owen began his presentation by telling the audience about a 5-year experiment in which the urban city government was “married” to some suburban governments in an effort to improve services to all populations. This was followed by a fascinating history of the community from its earliest roots.

For those who delight in discovering the lively history of a city, Owen introduced the audience to George Rogers Clark, the founder of the settlement that became the city of Louisville in 1778.  Clark was the preeminent American military leader on the northwestern frontier during the American Revolutionary War. Louisville was developed as a “necessity of war” to protect scattered settlements against the British army and native Indians.  The British were encouraging the natives in their attacks. Clark’s successful attacks on the British troops and their forts eventually played a part in the ceding of the entire Northwest Territories to the United States after the war.
The city was actually named after the French King Louis XVI in gratitude for his help in the American Revolution with arms, officers, and equipment. All the region’s distilleries used his family name – Bourbon.

Kentucky was originally part of Virginia, but broke off in 1792. Considered a border state, it was the dividing line between the North and the South. Although the state did not join the Confederacy, they did join with the southern states after the Civil War because of strong economic ties.

Dr. Owen ended his presentation with a quick mention of some interesting local sites and some equally now famous local citizens.

His keynote address was just the right introduction to the start of our 22nd annual conference.


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