What each field school should achieve

Each school will recruit locally and nationally for a cohort of 10 to 15 students of varying backgrounds and experience for each field season. Whenever possible, the student group should include representatives of the communities being served and should be diverse in ways that represent those communities.

The field school will train students in historic building, cultural landscape, and ethnographic documentation, employing both traditional documentation methods (including measured drawings, field notes, photographs, and oral histories) and selected advanced digital documentation technologies (such as LIDAR, photogrammetry, drone, etc.).

The learning objectives for each field school will include the following:

  1. To understand the importance of documenting historic sites and the methods for doing so (both analog and digital)
  2. To understand how to read a building’s physical/material changes over time 
  3. To understand how to translate that architectural evidence as historical evidence
  4. To understand how individual buildings contribute to a cultural landscape
  5. To understand the broad outlines of African American history, with a particular attention to the ways that this particular site engages that broader national narrative
  6. To understand best practices in recording oral history and to translate those oral histories as evidence of cultural change
  7. To understand the importance of and ethics of archival research in local collections, (church records, family collections, etc.)

The field school will produce final deliverable research products (print publication or website, for example) that make the work of the field school publicly accessible within the host communities and beyond. This may include the identification of tangible and intangible historic resources that are candidates for historic designation and/or preservation treatments.

For long-term preservation and accessibility, the documentation of each field school will be submitted to a repository where it will be available online, free of charge, and without copyright restrictions. The repositories might include local and state historical or preservation organizations or where feasible, the Historic American Buildings Survey of the National Park Service. 


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