On October 15, 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) into law and formally established historic preservation as a priority of the federal government. Since that time, individuals and communities across the nation have used the structures and powers it established to both draw attention to important and threatened places significant to our local, state, and national stories and to preserve those places so that future generations will also be able to connect with the stories that they hold. This fall, MARCH has been involved to two efforts related to this important act.
In September, MARCH launched a new historic preservation continuing education program open to anyone interested in historic preservation: members of historic preservation commissions, town planners, historic site administrators and volunteers, owners of old or historic buildings, architects, engineers, attorneys, students, and anyone else with an interest in preserving our built environment. Classes and workshops are taught by professionals working in the field. The program has been well received and registration for spring classes and workshops will be available by mid-November through the program’s website.
More recently, MARCH staff put together and published an e-book, in both PDF and EPUB format, on the NHPA for the National Council on Public History (NCPH). This publication, Preserving Places: Reflections on the National Historic Preservation Act at Fifty from The Public Historian, is comprised of essays that were commissioned by Mary Rizzo, former MARCH public historian in residence and co-editor of The Public Historian, the journal of the NCPH. (Mary is now assistant professor of professional practice and associate director of public and digital humanities initiatives at Rutgers-Newark.) These essays reflected on articles on historic preservation published in The Public Historian and were published on the NCPH’s History@Work blog in 2015. Because those essays, in conjunction with the articles they comment on, comprise a useful reflection on the achievements and the limitations of the NHPA, The Public Historian decided to gather them together in an e-publication to make them more accessible for consultation, study, or classroom use. So Mary’s successor, Tammy Gaskell, commissioned some new essays, for added content, and put together this e-book. Mary contributed an introduction to the collection. And, working with a template designed to reflect the look of the new NCPH website and the new design of The Public Historian, graduate student in history at Rutgers-Camden and member of the MARCH team Sharece Blakney learned the intricacies of InDesign to create a beautiful e-book (PDF format). Tammy then built the EPUB, to make the material accessible on mobile devices as well.
We hope that you find this new resource useful!