Two Down, Two to Come: 2015 Community Heritage Project Workshops

Petsy Fletcher helps workshop participants navigate the Building Permits databse, one of many house history resources available at the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. and the Washingtoniana Division of the D.C. Public Library.

Historical Society member Patsy Fletcher, of the D.C. Historic Preservation Office, helps workshop participants navigate the Building Permits database, one of many house history resources available at the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. and the Washingtoniana Division of the D.C. Public Library.

Produced in partnership with Humanities DC, Historic Preservation, the D.C. Public Library’s Special Collections, and the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., the Community Heritage Project House History workshops provide an introduction to the resources available at local repositories to help discover the stories behind buildings across the city. The two April 2015 workshops were recently hosted by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library, with a round robin format, where groups moved from station to station throughout each session.

Participants learned about the architecture of Harry Wardman, thanks to Sally Berk; local grants which help fund community documentation projects, led by Jasper Collier; maps and real estate atlases, led by Matthew Gilmore and Brian Kraft; the Building Permits Database, led by Kraft and Patsy Fletcher; microfilm resources at Washingtoniana, led by Jerry McCoy; and unique photograph and manuscript resources at Washingtoniana and the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., led by Mark Greek and Anne McDonough, respectively.

Participants leave the workshops having learned the breadth of resources available for in-person and remote research; all are encouraged to return to the various repositories to continue their house history hunt.

The next two Community Heritage Project House History workshops, again led by all of the partners, will be held at the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. in mid-August.  These workshops are free, open to all, and fill up quickly: Stayed tuned for registration details!

Jasper Collier of Humanities DC organized the event.

Jasper Collier of Humanities DC organized the event and led one of the round-robin sessions.

Participants leave the workshop knowing the breadth of resources available for in-person and remote research; all are encouraged to return to the various repositories to continue their house history hunt.

Participants leave the workshop knowing the breadth of resources available for in-person and remote research; all are encouraged to return to the various repositories to continue their house history hunt. Brian Kraft, in background, designed the building permits database, an essential tool for all house history researchers.

Matthew Gilmore orients participants to the map resources of the Washingtoniana Division.

Matthew Gilmore orients participants to the map resources of the Washingtoniana Division.

Special Collections librarian Jerry McCoy explains the microfilm resources available at Washingtoniana, as well as the house history files for specific Georgetown residences held at the Peabody Room in the Georgetown branch library.

Special Collections librarian Jerry McCoy explains the microfilm resources available at Washingtoniana, as well as the house history files for specific Georgetown residences held at the Peabody Room in the Georgetown branch library.

Washingtoniana's Mark Greek explains how to navigate the Special Collections photograph resources.

Washingtoniana’s Mark Greek explains how to navigate the Special Collections photograph resources.

While Historical Society collections can't go on the road, the staff can! Here Library & Collections Director Anne McDonough describes specific photograph and manuscript collections that are among the unique go-to resources for house histories.

While Historical Society collections can’t go on the road, the staff can! Here Library & Collections Director Anne McDonough describes specific photograph and manuscript collections that are among the unique go-to resources for house histories.

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