‘Stories in Stone: Memorialization, the Creation of History and the Role of Preservation’ – Congratulations on the prize to Emily Williams!

Stories in Stone: Memorialization, the Creation of History and the Role of Preservation (2020), published by Vernon Press and written by Emily Williams (Durham University), has been named co-winner of the Historic Preservation Book Prize 2021, awarded by the 2021 University of Mary Washington Center for Historic Preservation Book Prize Committee.

In their announcement, the Committee said:

Williams’ Stories in Stone is a powerful demonstration of how a multidisciplinary micro-historical and object-biography approach can uncover an expansive story that reveals not only the rich history of the objects themselves, but can also combat areas in which the historical narrative has long been too narrow or circumscribed. Williams examines two gravestones from Williamsburg’s 19th-century African American community that could have been relegated to a footnote in the historical record. Instead, through an exploration of the life cycle of the gravestones, Williams uses the excavation, curation, public engagement, and interpretation of the objects to deepen our understanding of free African American agency, to create a historiography of the preservation discipline, and to assess how we create and maintain memory. The work provides an excellent model for preservationists interested in using compelling artifacts to address histories previously suppressed or ignored in the historic record.

To order the award-winning book, please follow this link.

Page last updated on May 6th 2021. All information correct at the time, but subject to change.

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