More people get their history from public sites than from books, and I think it's vitally important that we academic historians respect and understand cultural institutions like museums and historic preservation groups. I've done architectural and landscape surveys for the North Carolina Historic Preservation Office, the Center for Historic Architecture and Design at the University of Delaware, and the Battlefield Protection Program of the National Park Service. I spent a summer restoring stone walls on a medieval castle in Provence. I've taken photos, cared for collections, and mounted exhibitions at The Textile Museum in DC and the National Building Museum, and served as Interim Executive Diretor of the Elfreth's Alley Association.
I've given talks to museum professionals, secondary school educators, the general public, and—most daunting of all—my children’s elementary school classes. I've had the distinct pleasure of giving talks outside the academy, at Mount Vernon and the Fred W. Smith Library for the Study of George Washington, the David Library of the American Revolution, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and at the NEH Summer Workshop, “Teaching Benjamin Franklin.”
I support public history because preserving our past is critical to informing our present and enriching our future.
Please check this page for info on where I'll be talking next.
Banner image: At the David Library of the American Revolution, PA, 2014.