Collecting, cataloguing, conserving. The heart of a museum is its collection, but how do Museums make decisions and who gets to answer the question, “Why Keep That?” The innovative staff at the National World War I Museum and Memorial have taken that question and built an entire exhibit around it. On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re talking with Stacie Peterson, Collections Registrar, National World War I Museum and Memorial, about the challenge of collecting, interpreting and exhibiting.
Established in 1969, the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture is the nation’s first-ever ethnic commission and has a 50 year track record of exploring, researching, commemorating and preserving important places associated with the African American history of the Old Line State. On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re talking with Chanel Compton, the Executive Director of the Commission, about their work and the exciting future of African American preservation in Maryland and beyond.
For lovers of early American architecture, folkways, crafts and tools, there are few who compare to Eric Sloane. Sloane was a prolific chronicler of the American past – and had a reverence for the way we were that was at moments charming, beautiful and absurd all at once. Today, the legacy of this collector and accomplished artist is being cared for and reinterpreted by the State of Connecticut.
Originally from West Virginia, where he received his B.A. in Social Studies Education from Shepherd University, Andrew comes to the Eric Sloane Museum with experience working at public history sites like Harper’s Ferry National Historical Park, South Mountain State Battlefield for the Maryland Park Service, and Henricus Historical Park managing their 17th century Virginia tobacco farm. In his spare time, Andrew is an avid agriculturalist and supporter of historical trades and may be found climbing the lines, working aboard tall ships. He and his wife are thrilled to be living in New England in a small timber-framed farmhouse with their two pups and cat. Andrew is honored to be a steward of one of Connecticut’s valuable cultural resources.
As nearly anyone who has seriously studied American history can attest – there is no American story without the story of slavery. It is central to our origin and must be included in order to get a full and complete picture of our history. Unfortunately, the records of slavery are spread far and wide and are often siloed and incomplete. In this two part series, we’re talking to two of the minds behind Enslaved: Peoples of the Historic Slave Trade – a digital preservation effort aimed at connected the dots and knocking down the silos of slave history. Learn more at www.enslaved.org.
Enslaved.org Brings Vivid Detail to the Lives of the Peoples of the Historic Slave Trade: A Conversation with Daryle Williams
As nearly anyone who has seriously studied American history can attest – there is no American story without the story of slavery. It is central to our origin and must be included in order to get a full and complete picture of our history.
Unfortunately, the records of slavery are spread far and wide and are often siloed and incomplete.
In this two-part series, we’re talking to two of the minds behind Enslaved: Peoples of the Historic Slave Trade – a digital preservation effort aimed at connected the dots and knocking down the silos of slave history.
Learn more at www.enslaved.org.
Daryle Williams (PhD, History, Stanford University, 1995), Associate Professor of History and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs in the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland, is Co-Principal Investigator on AADHum and Enslaved, two collaborative projects in black studies and digital humanities sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Williams was lead editor on The Rio de Janeiro Reader: Politics, History, Culture (Duke University Press, 2015) and serves as Area Editor (Brazil pre-1888) on the Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography(Oxford University Press). Single-author publications include Culture Wars in Brazil: The First Vargas Regime, 1930-1945 (Duke, 2001), winner of the American Historical Association's John Edwin Fagg prize, and several articles and book chapters on nineteenth- and twentieth-century Brazilian cultural and social history. His current book project is "The Broken Paths of Freedom: Liberated Africans in Nineteenth-Century Brazilian Slave Society."
Williams has held grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Scholar Program, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Humanities Fellowship Program, and the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities.
Prior to serving as an associate dean, Williams was graduate studies director in the UMD history department and associate director of the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the African Diaspora.
There are some topics that are easy to introduce to our PreserveCast listeners. Today’s episode is not one of those – but it is a topic we feel compelled to cover and explore.
Among his many responsibilities and positions, today’s guest, Dr. David Fakunle, is also currently serving as the as Chair of the Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the first state body in the United States dedicated to chronicling and bringing justice to racial terror lynchings.
It is a dark and painful chapter in our history – but a history which we’ll confront and discuss on this week’s PreserveCast with a leader dealing with the legacy of lynchings and the effort to bring justice to those who were denied it.
This is also our 101st episode – and we’re changing the format slightly today to offer a brief retrospective on what we’ve learned about ourselves and preservation over the past 100 episodes – and to talk about where we’re headed moving forward...
If you’ve enjoyed these past 100 episodes, we hope you’ll consider making a year-end gift to offset our significant expenses in bringing you this content. Think of us as your Preservation Netflix – even a one-time $20 gift would go a long way! You can make a simple online donation to Preservation Maryland at presmd.org and hit the DONATE button in the upper right corner.
PreserveCast Ep. 71: Baltimore and the Royal Family: The Duchess of Windsor Collection at the Adele Corner House
The British Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is just around the corner. It’s a historic moment, and the buzz around it has even crossed the pond and reach PreserveCast. The excitement has also provided us the perfect reason to talk to a true Baltimore Original, Philp Baty. Philip has spent years curating a private collection of items all related to Baltimore’s own member of the royal family, the Duchess of Windsor. We got to Philip just in time, as the one-of-a-kind collection is being put to auction in conjunction with the marriage of Harry and Meghan. Philip’s passion for the Duchess is also one-of-a-kind, on this special Royal Wedding edition of PreserveCast.
As historic preservationists we often can feel a sense of despair whenever we see a building that's been abandoned for years or even decades. Our guest today, Matthew Christopher of Abandoned America, knows just that feeling. That's why he is dedicated to gaining access to abandoned buildings and spaces across the country, and photographing what he finds inside. Matthew's images have appeared in countless esteemed publications, and he has photographed abandoned sites ranging from old mental hospitals to public utility buildings to theme parks. Don't go away! Matthew and Nick discuss how he picks his sites, why he thinks these buildings end up so mistreated, and how photography and greater exposure can sometimes help turn things around.
It's easy to be surprised by the history in your own backyard, even if you're a historic preservationist. Nathan Dennies, the chairperson and founder of the Greater Hampden Heritage Alliance, joined Nick to trace the history of Baltimore's iconic Hampden-Woodberry neighborhood, including the many recently repurposed historic mills, Baltimore's famous "Avenue," and the Jones Falls river. The area isn't just home to Baltimore's famous Hon-Fest, it's Preservation Maryland's home as well. After all, this is PreserveCast.
Building Information Modeling (BIM) allows architects to measure elements of a building down to the centimeter, and Tom Reinhart is here to explain how George Washington's Mount Vernon is expanding on that technology even further to get the most benefit for historic preservationsits. What do you get when you cross information from George Washington's own handwritten letters and the latest tech in data systems and digital modeling? Find out on this week's PreserveCast!
Historic preservation is about maintaining a record of human history and those who have come before us, and that doesn't just mean buildings. Film, tape, and other analog media mediums are not going to last forever, and there are only a few people out there who understand the potential threat of losing countless hours of recorded information who have the technical skill, the energy, and the passion to do something about it. Fortunately for us, Siobahn Hagan is one of those people. She joined Nick to talk about the work she does with her non-profit, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Moving Images Archive (MARMIA), including digitizing the WJZ local news archive. So fire up the projector and turn down the lights on this episode of PreserveCast.