Students & Young Professionals

Introducing CONTINUUM – the Recent Past Preservation Network’s initiative to engage students and young professionals interested in the documentation and preservation of our recent heritage.

Why CONTINUUM? Because that’s what RPPN is about at the core. It’s about recognizing that history is not stagnant and significance doesn’t stop at a certain point. It’s about recognizing that recent places of our heritage are just as important as a resource from the 18th, 19th, or early 20th century. It’s about building an ethic of awareness targeted at protecting tomorrow’s past – those places that may not yet be ‘historic’ by the traditional standard but are part of the same continuum that define our communities and our built environment. And, it’s about the continuum of preservationists, historians, and activists that will engage history and lead the future of the movement.

RPPN Scholarship Poster

RPPN Scholarship Poster

RPPN has always been particularly interested in bringing students and young professionals to the
forefront. After all, you are the ones that will define “preservation,” “historic,” and “significance” as we move further into the twenty-first century. And, while not all young preservationists love Modern buildings from mid-century, or Brutalist architecture of the 1960s, or Post-Modernism, you do, on the whole, have something in common – you recognize the continuum of history and you’re curious and engaged, and want to ensure a future for a diverse and dynamic history, including those places and stories that are important to you, even if they might not yet be ‘historic.’ Our future recent heritage, locally, regionally, and nationally.

Since our founding in 2000, we’ve engaged students and young professionals in a variety of ways. Over the last year or so, the framework for our initiative has been at the forefront of our efforts. For example, last year we provided a student scholarship to attend the National Trust for Historic Preservation Annual Conference. We’ve also partnered to support events like Looking Forward: Preservation in New England in the 21st Century, an event hosted by Historic New England to allow a “new generation of preservationists” to present their ideas on historic preservation.

The Bulletin: Student Issue

The Bulletin: Student Issue

RPPN has also placed an emphasis on promoting the original work of students and recent graduates. As one example, we dedicated an entire issue of The Bulletin, our quarterly magazine, to student projects, and distributed it to professionals, historians, and interested parties throughout the country – an issue we hope to produce each year going forward. Presently, we’re working on a database of student theses and creative projects that will likewise bring a whole generation of new research and work in front of the preservation community.

With CONTINUUM, we’ll build on past efforts and engage new ones. We’ll seek new ways to connect with students and young professionals, provide them opportunities for professional growth and development, and open up a dynamic conversation about the future of historic preservation and what that means for our recent heritage – present and future. For now, we invite you to reach out, connect with us, and ask questions.

If you’re interested in getting involved in the CONTINUUM initiative (as a student, young professional, or someone interested in assisting with the program), please send us a message at info@recentpast.org. We’re looking forward to the future and hope you’ll choose to share your vision.