Local History Comes Alive During 4-Day Annual Conference

“Making New Washingtons: Historical Consciousness in a Transforming City” is the theme for the 41st Annual Conference on D.C. Historical Studies, the city’s premier annual presentation of new academic and community-based research about the history of our nation’s capital.

Hosted by the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. (HSW) in collaboration with the D.C. Public Library Special Collections, Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives, and H-DC (https://networks.h-net.org/h-dc), the conference program explores the many facets of the rich history and traditions in the national capital region and features presentations, films, and tours.

Topics include expanding the idea of community experience, the accommodation of specialized needs populations, neighborhood transformations, and studies of political, social, and military themes.  The conference takes place from Thursday, November 20 until Sunday, November 23, 2014 at the HSW headquarters in the historic Beaux-Arts Carnegie Library on Mount Vernon Square.

Richard Striner, long-time historic preservationist and co-author (most recently) of Washington and Baltimore Art Deco, opens the conference during the Letitia Woods Brown keynote lecture on Thursday, November 20, at 6:00 p.m. The lecture is followed by an opening reception for the conference attendees. There is a special early start on Thursday with the noontime tours of Anacostia and Southwest Washington.

On Friday, November 21, the program continues with the plenary review by economist Stephen Fuller, Director, Center for Regional Analysis, School of Public Policy at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia. Dr. Fuller will outline issues to be addressed in the conference theme of the transformation of Washington. A roundtable of authors, including Jonetta Barras, Jonathan Agronsky, Steven Diner, and Harry Jaffe, will offer their perspectives on Marion Barry and the impact of his career in Washington politics. D.C.-themed films and documentaries run throughout Friday and Saturday, concurrently with sessions.

Lunchtime on Friday provides attendees an opportunity to learn about participants in the History Network, a gathering of historical organizations and projects. On Saturday the conference continues with more sessions, films, and walking tours. Tour destinations include LeDroit Park, Lafayette Square, and a special collections tour of the Sumner School Museum and Archives. In preparation for a special tour on Sunday, a second roundtable session on Saturday addresses the history and interrelationships among Arlington House, Arlington Cemetery, and Arlington County. Researchers will also describe new methods for capturing and interpreting history.

On Sunday, a bus tour of Arlington leaves from HSW headquarters at 9:30 a.m. The tour starts at Arlington House, continues at Arlington Cemetery, with stops at a variety of historical locations in the county including Nauck, Ball-Sellers House, and Fort Ethan Allen, which ends at 4 p.m.

Conference attendees are asked to make a recommended donation of $25, with additional cost for lunches and the Arlington bus tour on Sunday. For further information and advanced registration, visit annualconferencedchistoricalstudies.wordpress.com or email dchist@hotmail.com.


About the Historical Society of Washington, D.C.

The Historical Society of Washington, D.C., is a community‐supported educational and research organization that collects, interprets, and shares the history of our nation’s capital. Founded in 1894, the Society serves a diverse audience through its collections, public programs, exhibitions, and publications. Headquartered in the historic Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square, the Society’s galleries and research library are open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. More information is available online at: www.dchistory.org

About D.C. Public Library, Special Collections

Special Collections has been collecting materials since the creation of Washingtoniana in 1905. Today, the Department is made up of Washingtoniana, Black Studies, DC Community Archives, Peabody Room, and DigDC. Located in the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, Special Collections strives to collect, preserve, and activate the unique materials within its collection for all members of the public. Room hours are Monday thru Thursday 11am to 8pm, Friday and Saturday 9:30am to 5:30pm. For more information please visit us online at www.dclibrary.org/research/collections

About H-DC, Washington, D.C. History and Life

H-DC, Washington, D.C. History and Life, is a member of H-Net Humanities & Social Sciences Online. H-DC, a refereed, multi- and inter-disciplinary digital network, provides a means of communication and interaction for those who research, write, read, teach, collect, curate, and preserve Washington, D.C. history and culture and for those who work in cultural institutions located within D.C., regardless of discipline.

About Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives

The Charles Sumner School, built in 1872, was one of the earliest public school buildings in the city for African American students.  Currently, the facility serves as the official museum and archives for the DC Public School System.  The collection contains material detailing the history of public education in Washington, DC from 1804 to the present.  The rich collection contains many school-related artifacts including yearbooks, trophies, band uniforms, and portraits—to name a few.  There are multiple displays and exhibits interpreting DCPS school history throughout the building.  The Museum is open to the public Monday through Friday from 10am until 5pm.  Researchers may use the Archives by appointment only.