Annual Report 2005
From Hurricane Repair to a Rare Letter Book
Lindsay Hannah, an architectural conservator in private practice in New Orleans and a former six-year Colonial Williamsburg intern, assesses the condition of a residence in the Second Street Historic District of Gulfport, Mississippi. She was accompanied by Colonial Williamsburg's architectural conservation team. The house, constructed in the early 20th-century, was damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
Research division responsibilities embrace preservation, conservation, collections building, rare books and archives management, editing, training, writing and publishing, website development, and more—all of which were pursued in 2005. Staff helped to reclaim Gulf Coast historic structures from Hurricane Katrina damage, to create programming, to develop Internet offerings, to enhance John D. Rockefeller Jr., Library holdings, and to support exhibitions.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation organized assessment teams for the battered Gulf States. Thomas Taylor, Colonial Williamsburg's director of architectural conservation, led a preservation squad to Mississippi that surveyed historic structures, recommended repairs, and gave property owners practical advice.
The division helped write the Education for Citizenship plan that gives intellectual grounding to the Historic Area's Revolutionary City programming, and assisted in scripting, training, and setting the scene to explore the impact of war on Williamsburg. The new digital history center spearheaded development of the division's website, which offers information on activities, research papers, and other resources.
The John D. Rockefeller Jr., Library's special collections acquired a 1764–1775 Yorktown ledger probably owned by merchant William Nelson; a rare plantation letter and account book, 1735–1774, belonging to Colonel William Fauntleroy of Richmond County, which includes more than 200 letters; and the journals of Lieutenant Blackall William Ball, present at Yorktown's siege. The department supported the "Principles of Freedom" exhibition at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum with a rare William Stone 1823 engraving of the Declaration of Independence and signatures of the signers, all from the Pat and Jerry Epstein American History Document Collection.
A rare 1823 William Stone engraving of the Declaration of Independence was the centerpiece of the "Principles of Freedom" exhibition at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.