The calendar system for history organizations

The Massachusetts Historical Society talking about The History List


The History List is the calendar system that helps history organizations attract new visitors, members, donors, and volunteers.


  • Free—There is no cost to list, so organizations of all sizes can participate.  
  • Simple Just copy and paste.
  • Convenient for staff and volunteers—Anyone can add or edit, which means that organizations don't have to share one account.  Because individuals (not institutions) have accounts, there's no need to juggle one username and password.  A volunteer, staff member, or intern can add a listing, and another volunteer, staff member, or intern can update that listing later.
  • Fast to enter repeating events—For events that repeat, such as a walking tour, enter your event once, select the repeating pattern, and it will appear on the right dates and times automatically.  Every repeating pattern imaginable is covered.  
  • Fast to enter a season of programs—Enter one, preview, publish, and then click on "Add another event like this one" and you get a duplicate of the event you can edit, changing the program title, description, dates, and anything else that's different.
  • Unlimited room to tell the whole story—Enter as much text and video and as many pictures in the description of your organization and events as you want.  You have effectively unlimited space.  You can also enter very long explanations of registration information, directions, and other details.
  • Built-in features for you and your users—Maps are included automatically, and all your events appear automatically at the bottom of your organization's page.
  • Reaches a national audience—Whether it's someone looking for something to do in the area or someone planning a trip across the country, they're able to find you and your events and learn why and when they should visit.
  • Simplifies management of the list of events on your site—Enter your events once on The History List and then embed that list in your own website, just like you embed a YouTube video.  When you make changes on The History List they are immediately and automatically reflected in the list on your site.  Events automatically roll off once the date passes, so you never have old events displayed on your site.
  • Automatically publish your calendar on other sites—You can easily create a calendar of your events for partner, media, community, travel and tourism promotion, and other sites.  Once they add your calendar to their site, every time you make a change to your events on The History List that change will show up immediately on all these distributed calendars.

Three ways your organization can use The History List

(1) Promote your organization and events on The History List

There is no cost to list your organization and events.  There's no calendar we've found that's easier to enter your events, including repeating events.  it's copy-and-paste simple, and anyone who is signed in can add and edit, which makes it convenient for large organizations, small organizations, and all-volunteer organizations because there's no more juggling passwords and usernames among staff, interns, and volunteers.  You don't have to e-mail off things to the one person who can enter them, or track down the person who added it originally so they can revise it.

In addition, special calendars and guides during the year promote summer camps and programs and holiday events.  Just check the box when you enter your event and yours will be included.

Sign in now using Facebook or request a free account on The History List. Then add your organization and your events.

(2) Manage your events on your organization's website

Once your events are added to The History List, you can use the free tools included on your organization's page to embed your events in your own website, just like you embed a YouTube video, for example, on your site.

Embed buttonEvery event page and every organization page has a "Share/embed" button near the top of the right column.  Clicking on that causes a window to pop up that allows you or anyone else to create a calendar that they can embed in their site or blog.  

There are two basic formats, a full-page format and a scrolling list.  The full-page format is especially well-suited to listing your events on your own site.  And when you do, you'll never have to re-enter your events on your site and on The History List.  Just enter them once on The History List and they will appear on the page you specify on your site.

These slides walk through both formats step by step.

(3) Promote your events calendar on other sites

You can use that same tool to create a calendar to embed on another site.  Depending on the site, the scrolling format works well.  

Any addition or revision to an event on The History List that meets those criteria will also be made immediately, and automatically, to these networked calendars.  Learn more in this blog post.

Another way state, regional, and national organizations can use The History List

The calendar system for history organizations--Handout from AASLH conference

For organizations promoting events throughout a region, or at the state or national levels, The History List provides tools that make it easy for anyone to add a continually updated list of events to their website. Information can be entered directly by participating organizations, eliminating the burden on state staff.  The state-wide calendar helps raise awareness of local organization and their events.  In addition, all organizations and events are included on The History List,  which is national in scope.  More information about these networked calendars is in the handout (right) and in this blog post.

Background on The History List

The History List was founded by someone who knows first-hand the challenges of smaller organizations, including all-volunteer, member-supported historical societies, and understands the challenges larger history-related organizations face in standing out from the crowd of commercial event and entertainment listings.

The History List originated in the Boston area, was opened to other organizations in the spring, and is expanding geographically as more organizations come on board.

Together, we're building a great resource for local, regional, and national organizations, and for the individuals and families they wish to reach.

Here's what some of the early participants have said:


“The History List is quickly becoming a pioneer on the web for historical institutions.”

“Everything we are looking to share with the public is at our finger tips, easy to use, and well thought out.”

Jodie McMenamin
Development Officer
USS Constitution Museum


“Each year Historic New England presents hundreds of public events and programs at dozens of sites in five states. 

Unlike other event-listing websites, by focusing exclusively on history,

The History List connects our events to a highly targeted audience and helps that audience understand the full range of our offerings.

Rob Watson
Marketing Manager
Historic New England


“There are plenty of calendar services available online, but only The History List caters specifically to the history community.

Their event-listing services are intuitive and easy, their creators are smart and friendly, and our ability to communicate with like-minded individuals and institutions about our events and programming has never been easier because of them.

I’d tell any history-related organization, if you aren’t using The History List, you’re overlooking an extremely useful and effective tool.”

Matt Wilding
Media and Content Manager
Freedom Trail Foundation


Read what others have to say about The History LIst.


Getting started with The History ListClick to view full-size, download, or print.

It's easy to get started.  Sign in now using Facebook or request a free account on The History List.

Then enter your events.  When you're done, enter additional information about your organization, site, or museum. 

These step by step instructions, including links to several other examples, are a good place to start.

This handout (pictured) can help you or a fellow staff member, volunteer, or intern.  It tells them everything they need to  get started. 

Questions or suggestions?

Please let us know.  We'd love to hear from you.

And thanks for joining other history organizations in building a great resource that brings more people face to face with history.