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.
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.
- Though Nina Simone's Childhood Home is not currently open to the public, you can explore it through a virtual reality tour from Google Arts & Culture, narrated by Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist, composer, actress, and playwright Nnenna Freelon.
- Villa Lewaro isn't usually open to the public, but you can still take a virtual tour from Google Arts & Culture 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.)
- With virtual tours and digital collections, these Distinctive Destinations let you experience places and important events without leaving home.
- 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
Here are some ideas from Main Street America for how you can support your favorite local independent businesses, even if they are temporarily closed or offering reduced service.
- Buy a gift card
- Shop over the phone
- Put an item on hold
- Shop online
- Leave a review
- Promote on social media
- Maintain subscriptions
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
- 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.
- Add a new podcast to your listening list. Here are some suggestions to search for on your preferred platform:
- Conversations at the Washington Library
- Curious City
- Getty Art + Ideas
- Old House Love, Archives in Context
- Practical Preservation
- Smithsonian’s Air Space
- True Tales from Old House
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.
- 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.
- This collection of books and activities from Start with a Book is centered on Builders and Buildings, with recommendations for different age levels.
- Keep everyone happy with game-based learning about the Inupiat people of Alaska or World War I.
- Many historic sites offer virtual tours and lessons plans, like the Edward Hopper House, Museum & Study Center, part of the Historic Artists' Homes & Studios program.
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
Coronavirus Response Stories