Projects with Students

Below are some of the projects that students have completed while working with me.

Digital Watauga 

In Spring 2018, my graduate digital history class worked on a couple of projects for Digital Watauga, a partnership between the county historical society and the county library to document the area’s history. They did some behind the scenes work on rehousing a collection, and they also worked on four digital exhibits. One was an introduction to that new collection, and the other three themes were chosen by the students from already public items in the collections. Check out the exhibits here

Town of Boone Walking Tours

In Fall 2016, the Introduction to Public History graduate course created multiple walking tours for the cultural resources department of the Town of Boone to help them investigate what might be a good fit for the area. Two versions of those tours are publicly available. Check out the Historypin tour here and the Clio tour here–both of these can be accessed via desktop or app.

Community Group Websites

The Spring 2016 graduate digital history course students worked with three different community partners to create websites. One of these is private, but the other two are available for anyone to explore. One is for the Lincoln Heights School, representing alumni, former faculty, and friends of a Wilkesboro Rosenwald School, and the other is for the Junaluska Heritage Association, representing the historically black community in Boone. Students also created webmaster’s guides for each site, with detailed instructions and screenshots that would help the groups to maintain their websites.

Green Books Project Research

In Spring 2017, the Architectural History graduate class joined a project begun by Dr. Alicia McGill at NC State University. The North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources was in the process of applying for a grant, which they later received, to create a website detailing the history the state’s sites that were listed in the Negro Motorist Green Book. The Green Books were used by African-American travelers during much of the twentieth century in order to find safe places to stay and do business. As part of the initial research, Appalachian students in my class researched the places that had been listed in Western North Carolina. We compiled a report which was submitted to the state and shared with the state’s African American Heritage Commission, which continues the project with IMLS funding. 

Boone Survey Update

In Spring 2014, my graduate Historical Documentation class worked with the Western SHPO office of North Carolina to update the survey information of one quadrant of Boone, NC. The completed survey forms and photographs have been sent to the main SHPO office at the Department of Cultural Resources in Raleigh, NC; the forms are being digitized and the information is being used to update the Historic Preservation Office GIS Webservice (HPOWEB). Future classes may continue this work.

Below is the summary of the 2014 work.

Boone Survey Spring 2014 Final Sumary by k10bd



Lincoln Heights School

Rosenwald School

In Fall 2015, graduate students in the Philosophy of Historic Preservation course worked with the alumni board of Lincoln Heights School, a Rosenwald School in Wilkesboro, NC, to complete several projects.

Working in small groups, the students drafted an architectural survey and a significance statement for the school. These will be used to complete a nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. Others compiled grant information for the Board, wrote a historic structures report, which offers recommendations for preservation of the main building, planned a couple of exhibits to tell part of the Lincoln Heights story, and completed a survey of the original property and landscape (roughly 14 acres). The whole class worked together to brainstorm ways that the Board can get younger people involved with this important place.

Several members of the alumni board were incredibly generous with their time, and plan to work with my classes on future projects.

Working for the App State College of Arts and Sciences, Cassie Pena wrote an article about the students' work.


Exhibit Posters

When I teach the undergraduate Introduction to Public History course, students complete a single panel exhibit as part of their final project. Each student chooses their own topic, and I require that these exhibit posters use primary sources and make some sort of argument. Occasionally a student will work with a local museum or historical site to display their poster, but that isn't common just yet.

Here is a sample of this coursework which some of my former students have agreed to share. These exhibit posters are from various semesters and are presented in alphabetical order by their creator's last name.

S Brown Exhibit Poster by k10bd

N Holladay Exhibit Poster by k10bd

A Medford Exhibit Poster by k10bd

E Taylor Exhibit Poster by k10bd

N White Exhibit Poster by k10bd



Historypin Channel & Content

As part of the requirements for a graduate course in digital history in Spring 2014, students created a  page on for the Appalachian State University Belk Library. 

The class worked together to choose which digital collections to work with and what theme should define the project. The students chose to tell the stories of tourism throughout southern Appalachia and of what they called the "real" Appalachia, a more diverse complex picture of the residents of Boone, NC and the surrounding area.

Other classes at App State have continued adding to the page.