The mission of the National Trust for Historic Preservation is to enrich lives by saving our past, and now more than ever, we look to our history for courage, comfort, and inspiration. For the last 70-plus years, the National Trust has helped to orient the nation by connecting people to the places that reflect our history, our culture, and our communities, and we must—and we will—continue that essential purpose through this challenging period.
We've assembled this collection of resources to help our community, whether you are missing a visit to a favorite historic place, concerned about supporting your local businesses, or struggling as a parent to keep your family engaged with learning. We'll continue to update this page as new resources become available.
Nothing can replace the experience of walking through a historic place, but we look forward to welcoming you again when this global outbreak recedes.
Save Special Places Where History Happened.
Thanks to a generous match from the Robert W. Wilson Charitable Trust, every $2 you give leverages another $1, putting $3 to work to connect Americans through history and save the places we love.
Experience Historic Places, Virtually
Many historic sites across the country are temporarily closed or significantly curtailing hours and public events. While it might not be possible to visit these places in person, many offer virtual tours.
- UPDATED! This year, Preservation Month is going virtual. Unlock a new experience every day from May 1 to May 31!
- With virtual tours and digital collections, these Distinctive Destinations let you experience places and important events without leaving home.
- Explore these National Trust Historic Sites and National Treasures virtually, including Nina Simone's Childhood Home which is not currently open to the public.
- Villa Lewaro isn't usually open to the public, but you can still take a virtual tour of this historic property, with narration from Madam C.J. Walker's great-great granddaughter A'Lelia Bundles. (Then watch the new miniseries "Self Made" from Netflix.)
- The National Trust’s remarkable portfolio of historic sites contains a trove of objects that can be interpreted in multiple ways to tell a compelling American story. Learn more about many of these objects through our online collections portal.
- Explore and discover historic places with our Guides. They give you a roadmap to the highlights of America, united by a common theme.
Shop Local, Shop Safe
Now, more than ever, it is crucial that we support our communities in whatever ways we can.
- Here are some ideas for how you can support your favorite local independent businesses, even if they are temporarily closed or offering reduced service.
- Get inspiration from some of the ways communities around the country are supporting their Main Streets.
- If you are a business owner, head over to the Main Street America website for more resources, opportunities, and community response examples.
- We've also assembled a range of resources for preservationists, museums, and historic sites over on Preservation Leadership Forum.
On the Lighter Side
- Add a new podcast to your list. We've got 11 suggestions to get you started.
- Fill your home office (or home) with tunes from one of our historic preservation-themed playlists on Spotify.
- At the end of the day, settle on the couch with some popcorn and watch one of these preservation-themed movies (or one of these).
- If you are looking for a new book, fiction or nonfiction, check out our thematic reading lists.
For Parents and Caregivers
We know lots of schools are temporarily closed or shifting to online learning. We've found some history and preservation resources hosted by some of our favorite museums and partners.
- We've gathered fifteen of our favorite history-themed coloring books and sheets, all free, online and appropriate for enthusiasts of all ages.
- Check out this list of 13 Virtual Ways to "Edutain" Kids About History and Preservation, including lesson plans from historic sites, game-based learning about history, and reading lists for different learning levels.
- Main Street America is celebrating kids and teens as part of its We Are Main Street campaign.They invite you to share the stories and initiatives of the young people making a difference in your downtown, using #WeAreMainStreet. Check out the program page to learn more about two great opportunities for the youth in your life to show their Main Street love.
- The National Park Service provides kid-friendly resources and activities online for a range of themes including women's history.
Teachers and parents, we're here to support you and your students.— National Museum of American History (@amhistorymuseum) March 17, 2020
Send us a topic in American history (bonus points for a grade level) and we'll send you an educational resource to use with the students in your life. #SmithsonianEdu #sstlap #sschat #apush #OpenLearning
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