The Local Preservation School project is taking a break from active development with the conclusion of our funding from the National Park Service and National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers in February 2017. We are still accepting comments and feedback on our resource directory and tool library. You are also welcome to create a new issue on GitHub or suggest changes with a pull request. Please read and comment on our draft summary report and sign up for future updates about the project.

The Local Preservation School is an open learning environment where preservation advocates and volunteers share with people how to save and sustain historic places in their communities. Our goal is to teach you how to get involved with historic preservation in your community through free online courses, easy-to-use tutorials and fun projects. Beginners are welcome!

Why is the school needed?

Historic preservation can be a powerful tool for connecting neighbors around local history and culture, promoting community development through economic development and education, and empowering community residents to shape the future of their city. Unfortunately, many people do not understand how historic preservation can help their community. If you are already interested in preservation you still may not know where to turn for help getting started. We are building the Local Preservation School to make it easier to understand why preservation matters and how to use preservation to benefit historic communities and residents.

Learn more about preservation education online.

Who is the school for?

You! The Local Preservation School is a community-based project with opportunities for people from all backgrounds to participate—not just historic preservation professionals or specialized experts. We are focused on historic preservation in the United States but we hope that the resources we are developing may be useful to people around the world.

How difficult are our courses?

Many of the concepts or skills required for historic preservation are simple—how to take a good photograph of a building or how to plan your first walking tour. Other topics—understanding how preservation review works at the local, state and federal level—can get a bit technical. Some activities may ask you to learn how to use a new piece of software or web application. Whenever you find challenging material here, we’ll try to provide you with everything you need to know using free resources from around the web.

Is the school free?

All our online materials are free and open. What does open mean? The Open Knowledge Foundation explains:

“Open means anyone can freely access, use, modify, and share for any purpose (subject, at most, to requirements that preserve provenance and openness).”

In support of this principle, we are planning to publish the resources developed by the Local Preservation School team using a Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication. In some cases, we have adapted existing resources published under a Creative Commons Attribution or Share-Alike license where additional requirements may apply to reuse.

Learn more about open education.

How can you help?

The Local Preservation School is a work-in-progress. We are seeking assistance from educators and preservation professionals interested in helping us to develop and improve our collection of educational resources.

Learn more about teaching with our resources.

Who is working on the Local Preservation School?

This project is led by Baltimore Heritage with support from the National Park Service and National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers.

The lead organizer for the Local Preservation School is Eli Pousson, Director of Preservation & Outreach for Baltimore Heritage.

What is the history of the Local Preservation School?

Our project timeline is made with Google Sheets and the free, open-source Timeline JS timeline builder from the KnightLab Publisher’s Toolbox. If you have suggestions for this timeline, please consider sharing your comments on the source Google Spreadsheet or reaching out on Twitter to @alexsnowschool.