The Society for Historical Archaeology Conference

In addition to sharing their research with public audiences and site visitors, researchers at Historic St. Mary’s City also make important contributions to their professional communities. In addition to contributing articles to journals and chapters for edited book volumes, giving presentations at professional conferences is one of the ways that researchers make these contributions. These are important for our discipline because it gives us a chance to discuss our results and methods for examining the past with other archaeologists, and to discover new approaches to our discipline so that we can better serve people like you.

This week, I will be heading to Leicester, England to take part in the Society for Historical Archaeology’s (SHA) annual conference. This organization was designed in 1967 for archaeologists who deal with the recent past, namely from approximately 1500 to the present. My contribution is a session of a number of papers discussing the use of the Web as a means of engaging the public about archaeology, and includes papers from archaeologists in both the United States and Europe about the strategies and tools they use for engaging and discussing archaeology and history with online communities. I will be contributing a paper about the development of this website and exhibit, and our goals of creating a online community. I’ve included the abstract below:

Slavery to Freedom on the Web: A Community Engagement Experiment for Online Exhibits

Historic St. Mary’s City is a living history and archaeology park dedicated primarily to the recreation and preservation of the 17th century landscape of Maryland’s first capital city. However, the landscape has undergone significant change since the city’s abandonment in 1700, including a significant period as a slave and tenant plantation. Because this period of the past no longer exists on the landscape, HSMC has pursued funding to build an online digital exhibit to tell the story of the transition from slavery to freedom for the African American community that lived on this plantation during the 19th century. This paper will examine the process of building this exhibit, its objectives to promote understanding and interaction, and its use as a tool for both information dissemination and community engagement.

There are a number of ways for you to follow along to learn more about this conference, our session, and the many other papers being presented about a number of topics:

– Read a post on my personal website about the session and the various contributions.
– Follow me on Twitter @brockter. I’ll be live tweeting as much of the conference as possible.
– Follow the SHA on Twitter @sha_org, and the conference hashtag #SHA2013.
– Read about the conference proceedings at the SHA website and on their blog.

Let me know if you have any questions!

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