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A Conversation on Recreating Place:
Uncovering, Interpreting, and Presenting the Past

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Recreating Place Place

Live Event: Tuesday, March 16, 6:00 - 7:30 PM EST
Course materials and recordings available March 9 through June 30, 2021
Cost: $65

As family members, researchers, humans, we want to step into the shoes of those who came before us. To truly understand the experiences and daily lives of our ancestors and communities of the past, we must start with place: that unique and complex blend of space, time, and relationships. But how do we start to rebuild that context?

This conversation series brings together three experts from different fields—museum studies, literature, and genealogy—to discuss the how and why of recreating place:

  • • Former Museum Director Dr. Elliot Bostwick Davis;
  • • Novelist Christina Schwarz; and
  • • NEHGS Senior Genealogist of the Newbury Street Press Kyle Hurst.


The trio of panelists will share their various perspectives and the “tricks of the trades,” resources, and methods they use to research and present historical times and places. Each will offer great insight for family historians in pursuit of the past. They will look at the “integrity” of the research process and the practical aspects of doing research to, first, gain historical understanding and then represent it to your audiences. See below for more information about our panelists.

  • • Former Museum director, Dr. Elliot Bostwick Davis, will speak to the process of recreating place within the context of an art museum. She will examine how galleries and period rooms in her former institutions, including New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where she served as John Moors Cabot department chair responsible for creating and installing the 53 galleries of the Art of the Americas Wing, inspired a new, global paradigm for American art that continues to evolve. Dr. Davis descends from a family of collectors: her great-grandmother, Electra Havemeyer Webb, founded the Shelburne Museum in Vermont; and the collection of her great-great grandparents, Henry and Louisine Havemeyer, was donated to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1929.

  • • Novelist Christina Schwarz will speak from the perspective of a #1 New York Times best-selling author whose celebrated works have been situated across the United States and at various points in history: Drowning Ruth (2000) in Wisconsin between the World Wars; Bonnie (2020) in Texas and across the South and Midwest during the Depression; and works in between on the California coast in the late 19th century and in New York City in the 1990s, among other places and times.

  • • NEHGS Senior Genealogist Kyle Hurst will speak from the perspective of a researcher, editor, and author of numerous genealogies informed and enlivened by first-hand accounts (diaries, letters, ledgers, etc.), manuscript materials, narrative and story. A frequent contributor to NEHGS publications, the Vita Brevis blog, and American Ancestors magazine; she has also, with Newbury Street Press, authored the Ancestors and Descendants of Charles Le Caron and Victoire Sprague and two other titles, edited An American Family: Four Centuries of Labor, Love, and Reward, and is currently working on five book projects.

This online seminar includes:

  • • Exclusive access to more than two hours' worth of instructive videos, plus downloaded slides, handouts, and other educational materials;
  • • 90-minute live conversation and Q&A with our panel of experts;
  • • Access to all course materials and unlimited replay of all videos through the end of June 2021

The live conversation will be held on Zoom Video Conferencing. A link to the live session, recorded videos, bookstore voucher, and other materials will be sent to participants in early March.

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