Department of Historic Preservation
Gary Stanton, Chair
Michael G. Spencer, Career Advisor
Professor, Prince B. Woodard Chair
Douglas W. Sanford
Gary W. Stanton
Director, Center for Historic Preservation
Andréa D. Livi Smith
Andréa D. Livi Smith
Michael G. Spencer
The Historic Preservation Program
Historic Preservation focuses on the maintenance, conservation, advocacy, and interpretation of historic sites and structures and on cultural resource management. Historic Preservation provides opportunities for students to gain a deeper and richer understanding of America’s cultural and ethnic diversity and the ramifications of technological innovation and social change on people’s quality of life.
Mary Washington was one of the first academic institutions in America to establish an undergraduate curriculum in historic preservation and the first to establish an independent Department of Historic Preservation – now one of the largest undergraduate program of its kind in the nation. The department offers an interdisciplinary major that acquaints students with a broad range of activities, methods, and theoretical perspectives. Students in the program may emphasize historic architecture, building forensics, folklore, archaeology, preservation planning, material culture, or museums in their course work.
Historic Preservation majors explore the theoretical, ethical, and philosophical issues that surround preservation practice. The acquisition of research and analytical skills is stressed and substantial fieldwork, laboratory, or research assignments are woven into most courses. The academic program of the department is strongly enhanced by the research and public education programs of the UMW Center for Historic Preservation.
Historic Preservation currently serves as the home department for the Museum Studies Minor and students interested in enrolling in the minor should contact the chair of the department. The requirements for the minor are listed in the Museum Studies section of the Catalog.
The historic preservation program benefits by the location of the University in Fredericksburg, a city with an exceptionally rich history. Intellectual and professional skills are developed through intensive, hands-on involvement in preservation activities in the area, and opportunities exist for similar experience abroad. Students design and fabricate museum exhibits, carry out archaeology projects, conduct architectural surveys, and prepare diagnostic reports for local historic sites, structures and districts. Students interact with the local and University community through the activities of the student-organized Preservation Club. Special financial assistance is available for historic preservation students through a number of scholarships which are described within the Department’s website: http://cas.umw.edu/hisp.
Requirements for the Historic Preservation Major
Thirty-six (36) credits including Historic Preservation 101, 102, 200, 205, 207, 209, 305, 320, and 405; three credits from among 461, 462, 463, 466, or 469; six credits from among 206, 208, 302, 303, 308, 309, 325, 345, 360, 467, 470, 471, 491, and Geography 250. Historic Preservation 499 is strongly recommended but does not count toward requirements for the major.
Historic Preservation Course Offerings (HISP)
101 – The American Heritage (3)
Survey of America’s architectural, cultural, and historical resources; analysis of the historic, social, economic, political, and environmental forces from both “the Old World” and “the New World” which have shaped them.
102 – Preserving Historic America (3)
Survey of the history of historic preservation and the practice of historic preservation with emphasis on the legislation, policies, and methodologies that form our present national, state, and local preservation system.
200 – Introduction to Museum Studies (3)
Survey of the history, philosophy, and management of museums, including curatorship and public interpretation.
205 – Documentation and Fieldwork (3)
Prerequisites: Historic Preservation 101. Methods of documentation and analysis of historic sites and structures through historical research, measured drawings and photographs.
206 – Introduction to American Folklore (3)
General survey of the forms of folklore found in the United States in the twenty-first century along with the methodologies and theoretical perspectives used in the analysis of folk forms.
207 – American Archaeology (3)
Introduction to field and laboratory methods and interpretive issues of North American archaeology, with emphasis on historical archaeology.
208 – Introduction to Conservation (3)
Overview of conservation as a specialized professional discipline, including the field’s history, ethics, and common practices for documentation, stabilization, analysis, and treatment.
209 – Planning History and Practice (3)
Introduction to the theories, methods and practical applications involved in the field of planning at the state and local level.
302 – Preservation Law (3)
Prerequisite: Historic Preservation 102.Examination of the development and application of preservation law and policy in the United States, through the analysis of case law, legislation, and private techniques.
303 – Archives and Society (3)
Examination of the theory and practice of archival work, including the preservation, organization, and cataloging of manuscript collections.
305 – American Building (3)
Prerequisites: Historic Preservation 205. Intensive overview of the evolution of American building from early dwellings and towns to the glass and steel towers that dominate post-modern skylines. Special emphasis is given to building materials, technologies, and the development of structural systems.
308 – Cultural Resource Management (3)
Prerequisite: Historic Preservation 102. Examination of how historic preservation services are provided in legal and contractual contexts within the public sector. Topics include resource assessment, organizational management, proposals and budgets, and ethics.
309 – Preservation, Landscape, and LandUse (3)
Prerequisites: Historic Preservation 102. Survey of current land use issues and the impact on cultural resources.
320 – American Forms and Values (3)
Interpretation and analysis of material culture in pre-industrial and modern American societies, with emphasis on research perspectives and methods.
325 – Vernacular Architecture in America (3)
Prerequisite: Historic Preservation 205. A seminar in the research models, methods and theoretical approaches used to study commonplace architecture in the United States.
345 – Computer Applications in Historic Preservation (3)
Prerequisite: Historic Preservation 205. Introduction to the major applications of computer technology in Historic Preservation, including development of database structures, documentation using vector drawings, and the employment of three-dimensional modeling. Through projects that are specific to the practice of historic preservation students gain new means of documenting, interpreting and analyzing cultural resources.
360 – International Preservation (3)
Prerequisite: Historic Preservation 102. Examination of the origins and programs of major international preservation organizations such as UNESCO, ICOMOS and ICCROM and a survey of international preservation practice and projects in countries around the globe.
405 – Survey and Preservation Planning (3)
Prerequisites: Historic Preservation 209 and 305. An intensive survey and research-based study of preservation planning, with emphasis on the identification and analysis of sites and structures in their geographical, historical, and socio-economic contexts.
461 – Laboratory in Building Forensics (3)
Prerequisite: Historic Preservation 305. Examination of the fundamental principles of building forensics related to the effects of time, gravity, humidity, temperature and light on building materials. Fieldwork monitoring and analysis of deterioration in historic buildings, including masonry, wood, metal and coatings.
462 – Laboratory Methods in Archaeology (3)
Prerequisite: Historic Preservation 207. Laboratory procedures for the processing, identification, analysis, and interpretation of artifacts, with emphasis on quantitative analysis and collections management.
463 – Laboratory in Museum Design and Interpretation (3)
Prerequisite: Historic Preservation 200 or permission of instructor. Examination of the principles of museum exhibit design and interpretation, including participation in exhibit preparation.
466 – Laboratory in Object Conservation(3)
Prerequisite: Historic Preservation 208. Introduction to the chemistry, technologies, properties, and conservation treatments of the main materials and objects encountered by archaeologists, architectural historians, conservators, and museum curators, such as glass, ceramics, metals, organic items, and building remains.
467 – Field Methods in Archaeology (3)
Prerequisites: Historic Preservation 207 or permission of the instructor. Fieldwork-intensive introduction to the techniques for sampling, excavating, recording, and interpreting archaeological sites. Summer only.
469 – Laboratory in Preservation Planning (3)
Prerequisite: Historic Preservation 405. This laboratory course expands on the methods and information learned in HISP 405 by providing students with practical experience in preservation planning at the local level.
470 – Historic Preservation Abroad (3)
Introduces students to the historic resources and to the public and private systems for historic preservation in another country or international setting. Participants investigate principal preservation organizations, methodologies, and standards. Participants engage in intensive fieldwork and sponsored projects. Summer only.
471 – Special Studies in HistoricPreservation (3)
Seminar on a topic in historic preservation.
491 – Individual Study in Historic Preservation (Credits variable)
Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Intensive individual investigation of a significant research problem under the direction of a faculty member.
499 – Internship in Historic Preservation (Credits variable)
Prerequisites: Historic Preservation 101, 102, additional course work in Historic Preservation appropriate for the internship, and permission of the instructor. Field experience with a preservation- related institution or group outside the University. Does not meet major requirements.