Chemistry and Historic Preservation: A Collaborative Research Project on Bricks and Mortar

The blog Between the Cracks details two undergraduate students’ work as researchers partaking in the Summer Science Institute program at the University of Mary Washington. Sarah Smith, majoring in Chemistry, and Chris Young, majoring in Historic Preservation, spent the last 8 weeks of the ten week program researching and testing brick and mortar samples from some of Fredericksburg’s most historic structures. The samples extracted from each building underwent a series of tests to determine the elemental concentrations of calcium, sulfur, iron, silica, and magnesium. With this information, Sarah hopes to link the bricks with kilns used in 18th and 19th century Fredericksburg. Chris aims to scientifically distinguish the different periods of construction at the Mary Washington House, ca. 1772. The re-evaluation of building materials can add to the historic descriptions of the buildings as well as aid in the remediation techniques used in the preservation of historic buildings. The blog … [Read more...]

First Undergraduate Historic Preservation Education Symposium

The Center for Historic Preservation hosted the First Undergraduate Historic Preservation Education Symposium on June 10-12 at the University of Mary Washington. The symposium brought together faculty from undergraduate preservation institutions from across the United States. Topics of discussion were focused on curriculum, pedagogy, and student placement. There are many programs teaching historic preservation in America, the vast majority of them at the graduate level. However, although there are only eight undergraduate programs, they graduate many more students. Therefore, understanding the specific issues in teaching historic preservation to undergraduates is of particular interest. Who are these students? How and what are they taught? What are the emerging issues in teaching this population? This was the topic of the symposium, which was the first meeting of its kind. It served to create a community and start a conversation so that preservation educators can learn from each … [Read more...]

Fredericksburg Research Resources

Dr. Gary Stanton of the Department of Historic Preservation maintains a website of research resources regarding Fredericksburg. This trove includes city directories dating back to 1885, indexes of newspapers, of wills and deeds, historic census lists, and many other historic resources. Most recently, Dr. Stanton has added an index of surviving building permits from 1938-1960. Please use this great resource! … [Read more...]

HISP Department Lending Library

The Center for Historic Preservation is updating the HISP department lending library. Instead of using the outdated system on the even more outdated computer, the lending system will now be housed on a brand new iMac! Returning students can look forward to a much more pleasant lending system, and a much more organized storage closet. Danny Messplay will be conducting the re-organization throughout the summer. … [Read more...]