Events & News

The Archive Project is Making the Rounds at Conferences in 2016!

July 14, 2016

The Archive Project headed to Albany and Troy for the 2016 NY Statewide Preservation Conference on May 5-7, presented by The Landmark Society of Western New York in collaboration with Historic Albany Foundation, the Preservation League of New York State, and the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. This conference marked the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) with a theme of “Preservation50: NYS.” Preservation50 is a nationwide effort to celebrate, learn from, and leverage the NHPA’s first five decades to assure historic preservation’s vibrant future in America. The 2016 Statewide Preservation Conference was all about celebrating our past achievements and planning for the future of historic preservation in New York State.

It was therefore fitting that in their session, Matthew Coody, executive director of the Archive Project, and oral history consultant Liz Strong discussed how to plan, fund, capture, and share oral history narratives from the past 50 years of preservation efforts, with a focus on two new initiatives, one focusing on preservation’s evolving legal framework and one on sites significant to minority communities. For over 50 years, New Yorkers have fought to preserve their historic buildings. The stories of these struggles, the lessons and losses, the strategies and innovations, the tactics and triumphs, are the intellectual capital of the preservation movement, with the potential to instruct and inspire future generations of activists. But too often today’s preservation efforts fail to benefit from this rich history because it has been lost or forgotten. The New York Preservation Archive Project has worked since 1998 to reverse this tide of loss through oral histories that capture these stories in order to craft a nuanced portrait of the field and a better understanding of the past 50 years of preservation.

And the Archive Project has been accepted to speak at two upcoming conferences on similar topics! If you missed the New York State conference, catch us at the Cultural and Historic Preservation Conference “Preservation in the US: 50 Years On” in Newport, RI from October 13-15, 2016 and at the National Trust for Historic Preservation “PastForward” Conference in Houston, TX from November 15-18, 2016. 

Above: Archive Project Executive Director Matthew Coody speaks at the 2016 Statewide Preservation Conference; Courtesy of the New York Preservation Archive Project