With every year that passes, the D-Day landings move further and further from memory to history – and how we protect, remember and honor those bloody beaches becomes a conflict between tourism and respect. Today’s guests are part of a Normandy based preservation organization opposed to the creation of a D-Day land – a cross between heritage and entertainment that has riled up the normally quiet bocage country.
To regular listeners of PreserveCast, you know that I’m a huge fan of the BBC “farm” series – which have explored Tudor, Victorian, Edwardian and other eras of British history. Alex Langlands rounds out our interviews with each of the presenters from the series – and Alex also recently published a new book, Craeft: An Inquiry into the Origins and True Meaning of Traditional Crafts, which is a perfect topic of conversation at a moment when the world is almost entirely virtual.
Connecting place to story to digital resources is a challenge confronting communities across the globe. That’s why when I learned about nashvillesites.org, I knew we had a winner for PreserveCast. Not only is Nashville an amazing town – but this story holds many lessons for countless other places looking to bring their history to life.
There are over 150 metro markers, over 50 more state and nationally designated and recognized historic markers, sites, buildings, and districts in Metro Nashville. NashvilleSites.org augments Nashville’s unique history with multimedia information and dynamic online resources.
Candacy Taylor is an award-winning author, photographer and cultural documentarian working on a multidisciplinary project based on the Green Book. In Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America, Taylor has masterfully pulled together this story of resilience and segregation in a way that elevates and memorializes this history – a history still rooted in countless towns and cities across America.
The Jingle Dress project originated from a dream to unite the beauty of the land and the healing power of the jingle dance during these uncertain times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The origin of the jingle dance to the Ojibwe people happened during the influenza pandemic of 1918-19. It came as a dream to a father whose daughter was sick with the virus. His dream revealed the new dress and dance that had the power to heal. When the dresses were made, they were given to four women to perform the dance. When the little girl heard the sound of the jingles, she became stronger. By the end of the night she was dancing too.
Today’s guest, Eugene Tapahe, also has a dream to take this healing power to the land, to travel and capture a series of images that will document spiritual places where ancestors once walked. The goal is to unite and give hope to the world through art, dance and culture to help us all to heal together. Learn more about the project and support it at: https://tapahe.com/jingle-dress-project.html
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.
What we preserve tells as much about us as it does about the history itself. Preservation is a movement with a history unto itself – but all too often that story is overlooked in favor of the history of the sites that are preserved. Whitney Martinko, an associate professor of History at Villanova University, is tackling that story and recently published Historic Real Estate: Market Morality and the Politics of Preservation in the Early United States, an in-depth look at why and what we preserve and how interconnected our preservation landscape is to our market driven economy. On this week’s PreserveCast we’re talking about the impulse to preserve and what it says about us, the preservers.
Few names in American history inspire as much controversy, admiration, and consternation. He was a controversial figure in his own time and remains so today. No matter your opinion, Brown’s legacy is critically important and must be explored and remembered.
Today’s guest, Martha Swan, is the founder and Executive Director of John Brown Lives!, an organization dedicated to preserving Brown’s farm in upstate New York and using his legacy to inspire future generations.
On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re talking about John Brown, memory and how to use the past to engage the present.
Our nation is confronting challenges on almost every front – so why invest money in historic sites when the challenges are so great?
Places like Historic Sotterley, located in Southern Maryland, can make the case for why we should invest. Sotterley has worked to become an exceptional cultural and educational resource for its region and state, and through ongoing work strives to help build a better community with local and regional partners.
On today’s episode of PreserveCast, we’re talking with Nancy Easterling, the Executive Director of Historic Sotterley about tackling the complex history of a plantation and how that conversation can improve communities.
Foxfire is the bioluminescence created by some species of fungi present in decaying wood. It is a wonderfully evocative word selected by a teacher and student over 50 years ago to be the title for their new project to document life in the southern Appalachians.
What started initially as a student project has live on for decades and is today an open-air museum and outdoor village with over 20 historic log buildings and the Foxfire Archive, which consists of over 50 years of oral history interviews, images, and video.
With the light of the foxfire marking our path, on this week’s PreserveCast we’re talking with Kami Ahrens, the Assistant Curator for the Foxfire Museum about the special work they’re doing to preserve the past.
Do you ever wonder how authors and historians can keep writing new books about the same 'ole history?
Shouldn’t it never change because it’s all in the past?
The truth is anything but.
No one can explain that better than our guest, Dennis Frye – having been involved in everything from giving tours to leading nationally important preservation and battlefield protection organizations, few people know the complexities of Civil War history like Dennis.
In his recent book, Antietam Shadows: Mystery, Myth & Machination, Dennis makes the case that history should never lie dormant, it always needs to be re-examined, stating, “Historians should always be challenging themselves. They should always be a detective. They should always be mining for new information, and if it completely reverses something that’s conventional, good, good. Throw it out there and let people see it in a different way, in a different manner, in a different light.”
Listen in to this episode of PreserveCast to hear from Dennis about his investigative and inclusive approach to historical research on this special re-broadcast in commemoration of the Anniversary of the Battle of Antietam.
Nestled among the verdant fields and winding streams of the Genesee River Valley in upstate New York is one of America’s largest living history museums. Founded in 1966, the Genesee Country Village & Museum features 68 historic structures from the 19th century, moved from locations throughout Western New York, a gallery of sporting art, and a nature center and attracts more than 90,000 visitors each year. On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re headed back to the 19th century to talk with Genesee Country Village & Museum CEO Becky Wehle and Curator of Collections Peter Wisbey about the future of open-air museums and the historic trades.
We all need role models – and we need to see ourselves represented – whether in film, print . . . or in Mattel’s iconic Barbie. Today’s guest, Despina Stratigakos, Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence at the University at Buffalo, is a writer, historian, and professor. She is the author of three books that explore the intersections of power and architecture. Her most recent book, Where Are the Women Architects? confronts the challenges women face in the architectural profession. Despina also participated in a fascinating effort to get the Mattel Corporation to give Barbie a career in architecture. It was a study in representation and the future of the field – a story that we’ll detail in miniature and more on this week’s PreserveCast.
Few guests to PreserveCast have commanded as large an audience as today’s guest, Ruth Goodman.
Ruth is an award-winning social and domestic historian of British history who has been involved in several highly-rated BBC television series and has used her knowledge and charm on the screen to make history approachable and interesting.
On this week’s PreserveCast we’re crossing the pond to learn from a master of public history in a time when history matters more than ever before.
Dr. Harrison Goodall has over forty-eight years of experience with historic structures and facilities management and nearly sixty years of experience in training and education throughout the country. As a contractor, volunteer, and purveyor of preservation materials, Harrison has been involved in preserving hundreds if not thousands of historic structures around the nation. A 2016 award from the National Park Service documented that Goodall completed over 135 volunteer historic preservation projects in 55 national parks and over 40 of those projects took place in Grand Teton National Park, where he has volunteered consistently since 1976. On This week’s PreserveCast, we’re sitting down to talk with a preservation trades legend about the future of craft and the lessons learned restoring America’s most iconic places.
PreserveCast Ep124: Leading from the Front: Aimee Jorjani, First Full-Time Chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
Today’s guest is a first for PreserveCast.
Aimee Jorjani was appointed by the President of the United States to be the first full-time chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation – the federal agency tasked with coordinating preservation policy across the government.
From the halls of Congress to the pueblos of the southwest – Chariman Jorjani is doing her bit to promote preservation and we’ll learn what she’s planning next on this week’s PreserveCast.
ABOUT OUR GUEST
Aimee Jorjani earned Senate confirmation in June 2019 as the first full-time chairman of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP).
Ms. Jorjani has nearly 20 years of experience in the fields of government and cultural resources from a variety of perspectives including both executive and legislative branches, as well as the non-profit sector. Her career began on Capitol Hill in 1999 working as a legislative aide to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). In 2002, she moved to the US Department of the Interior (DOI) and held several positions, including serving as the Deputy Secretary’s Special Assistant for Historic Preservation.
A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Ms. Jorjani graduated from Northern Michigan University with a major in political science and minor in public relations and later earned a Masters in Historic Preservation from Goucher College.
PreserveCast Ep122: What Civil War-Era Medicine Can Teach Us About Today’s Pandemic with Jake Wynn of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine
Walt Whitman once wrote that, “Future years will never know the seething hell and the black infernal background of countless minor scenes and interiors . . . of the Secession war; and it is best they should not—the real war will never get in the books.”
Although the painful, real stories of the Civil War and its grisly impacts may not have been accurately captured by authors – today’s guest, Jake Wynn, the Director of Interpretation at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, is dedicated to telling those stories – and highlighting the grave sacrifices and incredible compassion displayed during that era.
As we confront a medical crisis in our own time, we sat down with Jake to learn about epidemics, disease, and health during the Civil War – and what lessons there might be for our own time.
ABOUT TODAY'S GUEST
Jake Wynn is the Director of Interpretation at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine and the Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office Museum. He is a 2015 graduate of Hood College in Frederick, MD. He writes independently about Pennsylvania history at Wynning History and the Pennsylvania in the Civil War blog.
PreserveCast Ep118 [Healthy, Hip & Historic] “Preserving History, Promoting Health” by Dr. Debarati Majumdar “Mimi” Narayan
In this third episode of PreserveCast's special series during the international coronavirus pandemic, we will hear from Dr. Debarati Majumdar "Mimi" Narayan of the Health Impact Project about the impact of historic preservation on the health of our communities and ourselves. As preservation addresses the physical material of our built environment – and those materials’ potential positive or negative health impacts – so too, does preservation address an emotional connection to a time and place in history.
Dr. Narayan's unique research specialty will help us place our preservation work in a broader context, identify challenges, and illuminate solutions for linking historic preservation and healthy communities.
Dr. Mimi Narayan is a Principal Associate at the Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The goal of the national Health Impact Project is to reduce health inequities and improve the health of all people by ensuring that health is a valued consideration in public policy. Dr. Narayan is directing the Project’s strategic initiative that assesses the relationship of climate change and health, and specifically tribal health. The relevant nature of her work and its potential impact on communities has attracted national and international interest and recognition.
PreserveCast Ep. 117 [Healthy, Hip & Historic] People, Old Places & Health with Dr. Jeremy C. Wells of the University of Maryland
As COVID-19 has changed the everyday ways that we interact with each other and our communities, it’s clear that our environment has important physical and psychological effects on us all.
This podcast is part 2 of a five-part special series presented by PreserveCast and powered by Preservation Maryland and includes the audio recording of Dr. Jeremy C. Wells' presentation of this subject at a Preservation Maryland conference in 2016.
Dr. Jeremy C. Wells is an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland's School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, with a research focus on the ways that people interact with their environment and the ways historic places – their decay and patina – influence their psychological and social health.
Dr. Wells’ research utilizes applied social science methods and presents new approaches for heritage rules, laws, and regulations. In this context of health and behavior, there is additional importance placed on the work of community planning, historic preservation, and evaluating what it is to live a healthy life in a healthy place.
PreserveCast Ep116: [Healthy, Hip & Historic] What the Future Holds for Historic Preservation and Community Revitalization with Storm Cunningham
As this current international pandemic has changed the everyday ways that we interact with each other and our communities, it’s clear that our environment has important physical and psychological effects on us all. Preservation addresses the physical material of our built environment – and those materials’ potential positive or negative health impacts – so too, does preservation address an emotional connection to a time and place in history.
This five-part special podcast series, Healthy, Hip & Historic on PreserveCast will feature five preservation visionaries that will place our preservation work in a broader context, identify challenges, and illuminate solutions for linking historic preservation and healthy communities.
Preservation Maryland brought Storm Cunningham, an author whose work is leading the way for partnerships between preservationists and environmentalists, to our annual statewide conference held in 2016 in Frederick, Maryland. Storm Cunningham is the publisher of Revitalization News online, and the author of "The Restoration Economy," "reWealth," and the forthcoming "Planetary Renewal: A Strategy To Reverse Our Decline."
As a regional partnership planner, he has facilitated comprehensive revitalization processes, not just a vision, project or plan which help places enhance their economy, boost the quality of life and increase climate resilience by repurposing, renewing and reconnecting their natural built and socioeconomic assets.
Storm joined our group of preservationists, planners and heritage tourism and museum professionals to show the group how they can think differently about who they partner with and what benefit comes from those partnerships. If we want to make the world a better and more sustainable place, we need to breakdown the silos each discipline has wedge themselves.
One example Storm will share was a potential relationship between “water people” and “solar people.” Instead of saying “we have nothing in common,” think about your goals and how they overlap. “Solar People” want solar panels to make clean energy and “water people” want to get safe and clean water long distances. Water evaporates unless it is covered, so why not cover the water channels with solar panels? This is a win-win. More energy and less water loss.
PreserveCast Ep115: Pushing the Outer Limits of Preservation with Michelle Hanlon of For All Moonkind
PreserveCast Log. Star date 97757.16.
Today we’re speaking with Michelle Hanlon, Co-Founder and President of For All Moonkind, Inc., a non-profit focused on protecting human cultural heritage in outer space. We’ll push the limits of the National Register and boldly go where no preservationist has gone before.
We’ve got 20 minutes, so let’s put this podcast on Warp 8 and proceed on this week’s PreserveCast.
Michelle Hanlon is Co-Director of the Air and Space Law Program at the University of Mississippi School of Law and its Center for Air and Space Law. She is also a Co-Founder and President of For All Moonkind, Inc., a nonprofit corporation that is the only organization in the world focused on protecting human cultural heritage in outer space. For All Moonkind has been recognized by the United Nations as a Permanent Observer to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. Michelle Chairs the International Committee of the National Space Society. She received her B.A. in Political Science from Yale College and her J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center. Michelle earned her LLM in Air and Space Law from McGill University where the focus of her research was commercial space and the intersection of commerce and public law.