Grants and Contracts Details
Whose History Are We Preserving?: Mapping the Gaps of the National Register of Historic Places from Racial and Ethnic Historical Perspectives Abstract The challenge of preservation and access to be addressed in this project is the underrepresentation of buildings and sites associated with minority groups in listings on the National Register of Historic Places (the Register), the official federal list of buildings and sites considered important in American history. The proposed project will quantify and investigate the reasons for underrepresentation of minority groups and associated histories. While it is well known that minority histories are grossly underrepresented on heritage lists from the municipal to the national level (Avrami, 2020), no accurate up-to-date data is available on how large the discrepancies are and how they are distributed across racial and ethnic categories. The first objective of this project is, therefore, to establish the extent of the problem. Using a computer-based keyword mining process with a computer code automatically searching over 95,000 listings (i.e., PDF files of approved applications downloaded from the National Park Service website), we categorized the registered sites into different racial and ethnic historical areas in an effort to map preservation gaps against historical and current census data. The second objective is to examine the reasons why discrepancies exist and identify possible solutions using the state of Kentucky as a case based on community stakeholder and preservation expert interviews and policy and procedural document analysis related to the Register. We envision the outcomes of the project to be the mapping of preservation efforts based on racial and ethnic categories and development of a model based on empirical research that can be implemented through the programs of the Kentucky Heritage Council, a partner of this project. Through these outcomes, this project aims to make Register listings for KY more inclusive and establish a model that can be replicated in other states and territories.
|Effective start/end date||6/1/23 → 5/31/25|
- National Endowment for the Humanities: $38,639.00
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