Nantucket Preservation Symposium

Thank you to everyone who supported the 2022 Preservation Symposium! Click here to view the recorded presentations. Subscribe to our enewsletter to keep up to date on announcements about the 2023 Symposium.

Join us for engaging presentations exploring traditionally excluded narratives in history and preservation, both on Nantucket and across the country, featuring experts in the fields of architectural, art, and cultural history.

The conference will kick off on June 22nd with an afternoon of casual welcome events including demonstrations, open houses at museums, and an evening reception.
On Thursday, June 23rd, attendees will convene at historic Sherburne Hall for a day of presentations and lively conversation. This conference, presented in partnership with the Preservation Institute Nantucket, will kick off PIN’s summer semester.

Symposium Schedule

Wednesday, June 22
2:00 – 2:45 PM: Ethical Metal Detecting Demonstration and conversation with Nikoline Bohr, artist, scientist, and ring finder, at Petrel’s Landing Land Bank Park, 17 Commercial Wharf
3:00 – 3:45 PM: Tour of the African Meeting House with Desiree Spriggs, Museum of African American History, Boston & Nantucket, 29 York Street
4:00 – 5:00 PM: Tour of the Maria Mitchell House with Jascin Leonardo Finger, Maria Mitchell Association, 4 Vestal Street
5:30 – 7:00 PM: Opening Reception, Sherburne Hall, 11 Centre Street, upstairs

Thursday, June 23 (in-person, upstairs at 11 Centre Street, and online participation)
8:30 – 9:30 AM: Registration (coffee and pastries provided by Lemon Press)
9:30 – 10:00 AM: Welcome messages, Mary Bergman, Nantucket Preservation Trust, and Cleary Larkin, Preservation Institute Nantucket
10:00 – 10:55 AM: Keynote Presentation with Fallon Samuels Aidoo, “Preserving Real Estate of the Black Atlantic: New Histories of Old Houses”
11:00 – 11:55 AM: Donnamarie Barnes, “Preserving Memory and Place: Telling the Stories of Three Cultures on the East End of Long Island”
12:00 – 1:00 PM: Lunch Break (assorted boxed lunches will be provided)
1:00 – 2:30 PM: Local History Roundtable with Nikoline Bohr, Michelle Elzay, Jascin Leonardo Finger, Frances Karttunen, Desiree Spriggs, Betsy Tyler, and Barbara White
2:30 – 2:45 PM: Break
2:45 – 3:40 PM: Catherine W. Zipf, ” ‘You Will Find it Handy:’ Rhode Island’s Listing in The Negro Motorist Green Book.”
3:45 – 4:40 PM: Kevin D. Murphy, “The ‘Queer’ Corners of Historic New England: Preservation, Recreation, and Community Making at the Turn of the Century”
4:45 – 5:00 PM: Closing Remarks


Fallon Samuels Aidoo, founding principal of Studio RxP and as a professor at Tulane University School of Architecture, analyzes hazards to heritage and adapts heritage to hazards. Her work within academia and professional practice revolves around rehabilitation, revitalization, and recovery of real estate impacted both chronically and acutely by distress, deterioration, disinvestment and disasters. These inquiries focus on marginalized and minoritized historic sites, structures and streetscapes significant to Black, Indigenous and immigrant histories on the Atlantic, Pacific & Gulf coasts. Her coastal research currently involves partnership with oral historians, archaeologists, cartographers, city planners and community stewards in New England and New Orleans, such as the African American Heritage Trail of Martha’s Vineyard. She has contributed to publications and projects of architectural retrofit, landscape rehabilitation, inclusionary preservation and disaster management for cultural heritage in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Tulsa and San Antonio as well. Dr. Aidoo holds degrees in urban planning (Ph.D., Harvard), architectural history (M.S., MIT), and civil/structural engineering (B.S., Columbia), plus a GIS Certificate (Harvard). She meets the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Architectural Historians engaged in Historic Preservation and requirements for AICP certification from the American Planning Association.

Donnamarie Barnes, Director of History & Heritage and curator/archivist at Sylvester Manor in Shelter Island, NY, has spent over thirty years working in the editorial photography field as a Photo Editor for publications such as People Magazine and Essence and as a Photo Librarian and Editor at the Gamma Liaison photo agency. She curated a highly acclaimed historic tintype photography exhibition in 2015 at the Eastville Community Historical Society.

Kevin D. Murphy, Andrew W. Mellon Chair in the Humanities and Professor and Chair of History of Art at Vanderbilt University, teaches courses in 19th century architectural and material culture, primarily in Europe and North America. His work has focused on historicism in France and the United States, both with respect to new design and the preservation of historic sites.

Catherine W. Zipf, Executive Director of the Bristol Historical & Preservation Society in Bristol, RI, studies the underdogs (and the elites when they were underdogs) of American architectural history. With an interest in race and gender, Zipf reconstructs lost or overlooked histories, providing a new, often surprising, viewpoint on the traditional narrative.

We’re pleased to feature a panel of local historians, researchers, and artists who are exploring Nantucket’s history in lively and engaging ways, including Nikoline Bohr, Michelle Elzay, Jascin Leonardo Finger, Frances Karttunen, Desiree Spriggs, Betsy Tyler, and Barbara White.

The 2022 Preservation Symposium is presented with underwriting support from the Community Foundation for Nantucket’s ReMain Nantucket Fund.

Thank you to our 2022 Symposium Leadership Supporters:
Maureen and Edward Bousa
Mary Helen and Michael Fabacher
Donna and Chris Hoffman
Barbara W. and Amos B. Hostetter, Jr.
Sarah Noelle McLane
Al Messina and Ken Jennings
Alison Potts and Mark Groenstein
Ellen and David Ross

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our 2021 Preservation Symposium: Rescuing History: Nantucket in Response to Rising Seas! Click here to view the recorded presentations.

Missed our 2020 Symposium? View video recordings here!

NPT is committed to assisting our community in developing resiliency strategies while protecting the precious resource of our shared historic heritage. Our Preservation Symposium is designed to catalyze inter-disciplinary and cross-community collaboration toward the creation of innovative solutions.

Nantucket Preservation Trust is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization charged with protecting and preserving Nantucket Island’s unique and endangered architectural heritage and timeless sense of place.  Tickets purchased to NPT events support our mission, and as such we do not offer refunds on any donations or ticket purchases associated with our events.  Should you be unable to attend, or in the unlikely event of a cancellation, the value of any unused tickets purchased or associated with your donation will be considered part of your tax-deductible contribution.

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