June 14, 2024

Center for Historic Preservation Awards Book Prize

The University of Mary Washington Center for Historic Preservation is proud to award this year’s Book Prize to Detroit Remains, by Krysta Ryzewski. Detroit Remains is a collection of six case studies in Detroit, Michigan, ranging from bootlegging, a log cabin, jazz site, and Detroit counterculture. This well-researched book masterfully blends an archaeological approach to historic preservation. Dr. Ryzewski highlights the crucial importance of community engagement – and student involvement – in effective documentation and action. The book engages economically, socially, and racially diverse groups, and emphasizes the relevance of recent history, which is still underrepresented in the literature. 

Detroit Remains highlights how history can be reassembled even when the physical site is already lost. Dr. Ryzewski also emphasizes that some mystery always remains, even after thorough analysis, which both points to the limits of our research and its next steps. The book provides practical tools, tips, and lessons learned for people working in urban archaeology. Setbacks are openly discussed, providing a road map for dealing with conflict. Though the book narrowly focuses on Detroit, it has broad application, largely thanks to its diverse sites and communities. Self-branded as archaeology, Detroit Remains nevertheless illustrates how contemporary preservation can effectively work with the recent past. 

The University of Mary Washington Center for Historic Preservation has awarded this prize annually since 1989 to the book (or books) with the most potential for positively impacting the discipline of historic preservation in the United States. In making its selection, the jury focuses on books that break new ground or contribute to the intellectual vitality of the preservation movement. Winners receive a monetary prize and are invited to give a lecture at UMW. The jury was comprised of preservation academics, professionals, alumni, and a current student.

2022 University of Mary Washington Book Prize Committee:
Andréa Livi Smith, Ph.D., Professor of Historic Preservation, University of Mary Washington (Chair)
Michael Spencer, Associate Professor of Historic Preservation, University of Mary Washington
Brooke Prevedel, UMW Class of 2024, Historic Preservation and Classical Archaeology, University of Mary Washington
Lindsey Cochran, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Anthropology, East Tennessee State University
Karen Daley, President of Stratford Hall

UMW Faculty Learning Community Publishes Online

Eleven UMW faculty from a variety of disciplines worked together in 2020 as the Advocacy, Deliberation, and Civic Engagement Learning Community. The group was led by Leslie Martin and Anand Rao, representing the Center for Community Engagement and the Speaking Intensive Program. The goal of the group was for the participants to work together to develop course materials that incorporate advocacy and deliberation activities to support civic learning in their courses. Modeled after a similar initiative at VCU, the UMW faculty learning community met through the Spring 2020 semester to study the ways that advocacy, deliberation, and debate, could be used in class, and the faculty then developed materials, including activities, assignments, and rubrics, for use in college classes. The materials were collected and were recently published online through UMW Eagle Scholar. The publication is titled “Supporting Advocacy, Deliberation, and Civic Learning in the Classroom,” and includes contributions from the following faculty: Leslie Martin (Sociology), Anand Rao (Communication), Adrienne Brovero (Communication, UMW Debate), Gonzalo Campos-Dintrans (Spanish, FSEM), Steve Greenlaw (Economics, FSEM), Pamela Grothe (Environmental Sciences), Jason Hayob-Matzke (Philosophy), Jodie Hayob-Matzke (Environmental Sciences), Christine Henry (Historic Preservation), Joseph Romero (Classics), and Andrea Livi Smith (Historic Preservation).

Graves and Ghouls Tour Makes Halloween Début

The past comes alive in historic Fredericksburg, but each Halloween, it’s the dead who are memorialized by University of Mary Washington’s Historic Preservation Club. Earlier this month, the club’s annual Ghostwalk – a popular attraction for the past 36 years – transformed into “Graves and Ghouls,” a graveyard tour that was socially distanced due to […]

UMW Student Lands Competitive Library of Congress Fellowship

History has been a part of Matthew Bova’s life for as long as he can remember. In fact, even longer. The UMW junior’s parents met when they were both historical interpreters at Claude Moore Colonial Farm. “I feel fortunate to have grown up in an area so rich in history,” said Bova, an Arlington, Virginia, […]

UMW Professors Find Creative Ways to Teach Through COVID-19

Teaching at Mary Washington looks a bit different lately. Andi Smith films YouTube videos with her children to demonstrate architectural principles. Zach Whalen uses cartoons to teach a digital studies lesson. Smita Jain Oxford holds Zoom office hours for business majors on her daily jog. When the University moved to virtual classes last month due […]

Questers 1944 Visits UMW Historic Preservation Department

The local Questers 1944 chapter presented a generous donation to the Department of Historic Preservation. Professors Andréa Livi Smith and Christine Henry accepted the donation on behalf of the department.

The local Questers 1944 chapter presented a generous donation to the Department of Historic Preservation. Professors Andréa Livi Smith and Christine Henry accepted the donation on behalf of the department.

The Questers 1944 local chapter visited UMW on Wednesday, June 12 to make a donation to the Department of Historic Preservation. Questers members were given a tour of the HISP facilities and current projects before taking a trolley tour of downtown Fredericksburg.

Since 2010, Questers have supported UMW’s Historic Preservation Department and provided funds for equipment needed for preservation. Thanks to the group’s generous donations, the department has purchased mat cutters for museum exhibits, measuring poles, digital cameras and tents for use on archaeological digs to protect students from the elements.

The local Questers 1944 chapter visited UMW's Department of Historic Preservation this week. Here, two members of the group examine a Civil War ordnance that was found by UMW HISP students at Sherwood Forest plantation.

The local Questers 1944 chapter visited UMW’s Department of Historic Preservation this week. Here, two members of the group examine a Civil War ordnance that was found by UMW HISP students at Sherwood Forest plantation.

According to the group’s website, “With a strong desire to see that the best of American heritage is preserved for future generations, Questers seek to educate by research and study of antiques and to donate funds to the preservation and restoration of artifacts, existing memorials, historic buildings, landmarks and educational purposes.” To learn more about the Questers, visit https://www.questers1944.org.

The HISP Department thanks the Questers for their continued generous donations!

UMW Awards Historic Preservation Book Prize

The University of Mary Washington’s Center for Historic Preservation has awarded the 2018 Book Prize to Caitlin DeSilvey for Curated Decay: Heritage Beyond Saving. The Center awards the prize each year to an author whose book has a positive impact on preservation in the United States. “Curated Decay is a beautifully written book that conceptualizes […]

Smith and Burtis Publish on Tools for Preservation

In January, Andréa Livi Smith and Martha Burtis had their article, “A Practical Cultural Resource Survey Tool for Preservation,” published in a special issue of the Association for Preservation Technology Bulletin. The piece shares a project Smith and Burtis have collaborated on since fall 2013 when they decided to develop an online tool to facilitate student collection of data during culture-resource surveys around Fredericksburg.

Prior to the project, data was collected in paper form, transcribed by students to numerous Excel spreadsheets, and then merged together by Smith. The process involved numerous opportunities for introducing errors and was laborious and time-consuming.

Using WordPress as a platform for building a database application, the two developed a new approach resulting in the Historic Environment Resource Assessment tool found at survey.andrealivismith.com. While conducting surveys in the field, students can login to the site on their mobile devices, and add their own data, including uploading photos of the sites they’re surveying. Later, they can return to entries to edit and refine their own or to comment upon their classmates’. At the end of the semester, Smith can easily export all the data in a standard CSV file, which can be imported into SPSS for further analysis by the class.

In addition to making it easier and smoother for students to collect data, the tool also makes is straightforward for Smith to update and tailor the collection form each fall semester, as students tackle new neighborhoods.

On the whole, the project is a fine example of what can be accomplished when faculty and instructional technologists collaborate to create new kinds of online experiences for UMW students using free and low-cost technology.

Fredericksburg Frejus Celebrate 35th Anniversary as Sister Cities (Fredericksburg.Today)

Smith Presents at International Preservation Conference

Andréa Livi Smith, associate professor of historic preservation, presented at the Association of Preservation Technology International’s annual conference in Québec City on Oct. 29. She discussed the use of technology for cultural resource data collection in preservation. Her peer reviewed talk, translated live into French and Spanish, highlighted the survey site developed on the UMWBlogs platform with Martha Burtis of DTLT, and its application for the capstone preservation course. The survey tool is a new model for preservation and is at the bleeding edge of the use of technology in the field. Smith emphasized its practicality for practitioners and researchers. The survey itself can be found at survey.umwblogs.org