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By Erin Wederbrook Yuskaitis

Has it been a while since your high school history classes? Have you been watching too many historically inaccurate movies or TV shows? Or maybe you’re just looking for some old-fashioned intellectual stimulation? Then look no further than Old North’s Mini-Courses! Each month we will offer a new mini-course on a variety of topics for all the couch-based learners out there. What’s not required: registration, a specific digital platform, hours of your time, quizzes, or grades. What is required: a love of reading, an interest in or curiosity about historical topics, and an open mind.

(If you missed our first mini-course, click over here for your crash course on the American Revolution.)

May is National Preservation Month, a time for us to celebrate our heritage through the built environment and also a time for us to take stock of how we protect our precious historic buildings and places. As a beloved historic site, Old North depends on preservation and restoration to survive centuries of change. 

Below, tinker with the nuts and bolts of historic preservation, Old North style.

1. Familiarize yourself with the basics of historic preservation and a simple explanation for why it’s important

2. Gain a greater understanding of what preservation work looks like at sites like Old North:


3. Consider the architecture of Boston, and the conversation between old and new, in our online exhibit The Vernacular and the Spectacular

4. Challenge yourself to tackle some – or all! – of the 31 ways to celebrate Preservation Month with our friends at the Boston Preservation Alliance. 

After you’ve reviewed the articles and resources above, take a moment to reflect on what you’ve learned. Write in the comments section below, answering any of the following questions: 

  • How is historic preservation important in your town or city? What examples do you see of preservation at work?
  • How does the changing interior of Old North Church provide a window into the historical events of the day?
  • What was your favorite article or resource and why?