Adaptive Reuse, Community History, and Archival Practice

The Community Histories Workshop proudly announces publication of the whitepaper Adaptive Reuse, Community History, and Archival Practice, which outlines the scope of “Rocky Mount Mills: From Adaptive Reuse to Public Engagement,” a project funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission of the National Archives and Records Administration, Project #DP100110. The whitepaper can be found on the Digital Rocky Mount Mills website. ...
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African-American Genealogy Workshop & Adaptive Reuse Charrette

On Tuesday, June 11, 2019, CHW hosted two events at the Power House in the recently renovated Rocky Mount Mills. The afternoon event was a "charrette" on the intersections of adaptive reuse of iconic historic sites and community history/archiving projects. The evening event was centered on African American family history and genealogy. Rocky Mount Mills lit up at night Both events were supported by a grant to the CHW from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission of the National Archives and Records Administration. The afternoon charrette brought together more than 20 invited adaptive reuse stakeholders from across North Carolina: major adaptive reuse developers, architects, government agencies, North Carolina's principal historic preservation organization, non-profit investors, local history and art museums, local history librarians, cultural heritage organizations, and community members. They were joined by representatives of key units of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Together they addressed the broad question "How might the rehabilitation and...
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“Lying about the age of a horse:” The Primitive Baptist Church on the Falls of the Tar River Records (Rocky Mount, NC)

The Primitive Baptist Church on the Falls of the Tar River was founded in 1757, and its congregation met just a short distance from where Rocky Mount Mills stands today. It’s members consisted of a large number of the residents of Rocky Mount at the time. Thanks to the work of the Southern Historical Collection's Bernetiae Reed, the Community Histories Workshop now has digital access to hundreds of records from the church spanning from the 1760s to the 1780s. The records are a great genealogical resource for anyone who has descended from early settlers of Rocky Mount or their slaves, many of whom also attended church services. In the church’s early years, Reverend John Moore led the church as pastor for many years, leaving the position around 1780. Many members of the Battle family attended the church, including Elisha Battle, John Battle, other family members, and their slaves. These records also offer an insight into what life, society, and religion...
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CURS Conversation with CHW Director Bobby Allen

CURS (Center for Urban and Regional Studies) recently interviewed CHW Faculty Director Bobby Allen on the work of the Community Histories Workshop. They posted the interview on their YouTube channel, which you can watch HERE. Professor Allen discusses the projects currently underway at CHW and the unique aspects of the work involved. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUTKQ7aaklU ...
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Gathering with Other Community-minded Projects at the 2018 NCPC Conference

The 2018 North Carolina Preservation Consortium conference focused on preserving community heritage. At the November 16, 2018 conference held at the McKimmon Center at North Carolina State's campus, representatives from UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Charlotte, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library, A/V Geeks, Catawba County Library, and the State Archives of North Carolina described their community-engaged projects and their methods for building and fostering public interest and involvement. CHW Director Bobby Allen introduced the organizational mission and discussed how CHW came to be. Nicole Coscolluela then followed by detailing the Rocky Mount Mills initiative and how it focuses on K-12 learning and producing genealogical resources useful to descendants of Battle Family slaves. Sarah Almond then closed the presentation by briefly discussing the Dorothea Dix project and the remarkable nature of its admissions ledgers and case studies. The conference room was packed with over 90 registrants, above double the typical NCPC conference attendance. This presence makes evident the many dynamic community projects all around the state with staff...
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Presenting at the National Humanities Conference 2018

CHW - represented by Elijah Gaddis, Nicole Coscolluela, Lucas Kelley, and Morgan Vickers - traveled to New Orleans to present at the 2018 National Humanities Conference, which was organized by the Federation of State Humanities Councils. The conference took place November 8-11, 2018 at the New Orleans Marriott hotel. There was representation from all over the United States and sessions were on such topics as immigrant engagement, pedagogy, development/advocacy, prison initiatives, and rural outreach. It was clear that there is varied, innovative, and passionate humanities work being done across the country. Moreover, the National Endowment of the Humanities was present in order to promote the "Humanities for All" initiative and the Academy of Arts & Sciences also had a booth to present "Humanities Indicators," their project that studies areas in work and life that humanities studies contributes to. The CHW panel was on the first day of the conference, Thursday, November 8. The session titled "Historians and Developers, Pitfalls and Potential" welcomed approximately...
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