Because MARCH makes its home on a college campus, the new school year is always a time of renewed energy. This September has been a month of extraordinary transformations for our center, its programs, and our outreach to public humanities colleagues in the Mid-Atlantic region.
We are delighted to share the news that Rutgers-Camden has provided us with new, expanded space in an 1851 rowhouse that is a contributing structure to the Cooper Street Historic District. Originally built for George Bockius, a leather dealer and manufacturer from Philadelphia, the house presents the opportunity to develop a lively co-working space supporting current and future projects and collaborations. Graduate students at Rutgers-Camden will be helping us learn more about the surviving features of the home, the Bockius family, and later occupants.
This month we also launched a new continuing education program in historic preservation, which in its first semester includes a ten-week course, Introduction to Historic Preservation, and two Saturday workshops. Our initial groups of students are delving into architectural styles, learning best practices of historic house stewardship, exploring methods of historic interpretation, and touring historic houses near the Rutgers-Camden campus. In the spring, we will offer American Architectural History and two one-day workshops: one on cemetery preservation and the other a primer for members of historic preservation commissions. Our hope is that interest in these programs will build into a new continuing education certificate in historic preservation, so cast your vote by enrolling in a course or workshop. Visit the program website for further information.
As we settled into our new home, this month we also hosted a live-streaming of the online conference of the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH), and our Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia project reached a new milestone of 400 essays published online. We co-sponsored a public program about the history of Jewelers Row at the Philadelphia History Museum of Philadelphia, and we made preparations for the conference we will host on November 19, “History, Memory, and Disability Rights: Creating Inclusive Public Humanities Programs.” We have also been on the road. Tamara Gaskell, our public historian in residence and co-editor of The Public Historian, attended the New Netherlands Conference in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and MARCH director Charlene Mires participated in a planning workshop for the New Jersey Historic Trust in Red Bank. We have had a busy and satisfying start to the fall season!