Monday, January 23, 2012

Who Lived Here?

Houses in DC Live Many Lives. Research the History of Your Home or Another Intriguing Property.

The most important history lessons are deeply personal, and invoke an emotional response. This explains the popularity of documentary film, with its flair for the dramatic, and genealogy with its immediate personal connections. It also explains why some people are so willing to passionately defend a community's architectural look and feel, and the unique intangible identities their neighborhoods develop through tradition and memory. 

On Saturday, February 18, the Humanities Council, in partnership with the DC Public Library, the DC Historic Preservation Office, and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, will host a House History Day during which DC residents will learn how to research the past lives of their homes. House history research is powerful because it provides that personal connection to the past that few other types of historical research can; it allows anyone to forge a strong sense of connection with their neighborhood and their community whether they have called DC home for years, or just moved in last month. 

Next month's workshop will feature hands on instruction from expert archivists and historians; researchers will have time to practice their new skills as well, and are encouraged to bring along as much information about their house's history as they can. 

Sessions include: DC Maps, Historic Building Permit Database, Photo Archives, Microfilm, and DC Digital Museum/Neighborhood Context. The day will consist of two identical workshops in which participants will rotate to each of the sessions. The morning workshop lasts from 10am-12pm and the afternoon workshop from 1pm-3pm.  Lunch will be served between the morning and afternoon workshops. 

To register please visit

Please register for only one of the two workshops. House History Day is free, but we ask that you only register if you are sure you will be able to attend. The workshops are very popular and space is extremely limited. For more information please email info[at]wdchumanities[dot]org.


  1. Hey, there. Sure hope you'll be offering another one of these workshops soon. It looks fascinating!

  2. Thanks for the comment, Mac. We are definitely looking at how we can expand the reach of this program.