How to Celebrate Historic Preservation Month

Arkansas Historic Preservation Program - Tuesday, May 12, 2020


People across Arkansas are still sheltering in place and practicing social distancing due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19. Many historic sites and museums that would normally be open during National Historic Preservation Month are closed this May. But there are still ways you can celebrate historic preservation starting, quite literally, in your own backyard. 

First, visit the database of National Register for Historic Places properties on our website. There you can type in county and counties near you, pull up a list of properties and create a driving tour. Many of these sites are privately owned but viewable from public streets or sidewalks.

Public historic sites, such as museums or historic homes, may be closed but are offering virtual tours. Here’s a list with links of some that might be fun to explore:

In Arkansas, our historic museums and programs are providing meaningful, online content on their social media channels such as sharing tours of collections or in-depth interviews with craftspeople and historians. Here are several with links to their Facebook pages:

And if you missed any of our amazing Sandwiching in History Tours, now is a great time to catch up. Our April, May and June tours can be seen on our Facebook page, but others are posted on our website or YouTube channel.

Sheltering in place is a great time to break out the family scrapbooks and photo albums or boxes and review the stories of your past while sharing them with a younger generation. Set up a video call with grandparents, great-grandparents,or other relatives to tell stories about your family’s past. Have kids journal or create art that helps to depict some of the photos or stories. If you are really interested in preserving this moment in our history, the Butler Center at the Roberts Library is collecting Arkansas’s COVID-19 stories.

If you have a students interested in art or writing, they have until June 5 to enter our Preserve Our Past Art and Essay contest so if you need to keep 5th to 8th grade kiddos busy, this is a worthwhile project.

As school comes to a close, you may want to get out and stretch your legs. Believe it or not, historic cemeteries are a great place to engage in hands-on learning and preservation. Holly Hope, one of our historians, specializes in historic cemetery preservation, and we have several videos from Holly that teach proper care and cleaning techniques for headstones. Just visit our YouTube channel for more. 

One last thing you can do that is completely free and doesn’t even involve getting up from the couch is support historic preservation organizations online by liking their social media pages and following their content. Thank you for supporting us and taking part in May is Historic Preservation Month.



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