Smithsonian and The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America to Present Women in Preservation Symposium

Three-day Virtual Event Will Celebrate Women and Their Pivotal Role in American Preservation
March 31, 2021
News Release

Addthis Share Tools

Smithsonian sunburst logo

The Smithsonian’s American Women’s History Initiative (AWHI) and The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America (NSDCA) will host a three-day virtual symposium celebrating women working in preservation April 5–7. The Women in Preservation Symposium will feature discussions and programs centered on women’s contributions to the broad field of historic preservation, including conservation, museum and collections management, cultural heritage preservation and oral history.  

The symposium features three days of dynamic discussions and presentations with more than 30 scholars, professionals and advocates for historical preservation. Participants can look forward to panel discussions, flash-talks and three keynote presentations from Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III; Carol B. Cadou, the Charles F. Montgomery Director and CEO of the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library; and Leslie Greene Bowman, president of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello.

Attendance to the symposium is free, but registration is required. The public can register for each day of the symposium, and may choose which sessions to attend. All sessions will be recorded and posted on the NSCDA’s YouTube Channel a week after the event. Programming begins at 9 a.m. each morning. A full schedule of sessions and registration is available on the NSCDA’s website.

Highlights include:

Day 1: Monday, April 5

9:05 a.m.– HerStory in Preservation: Celebrating the women of the past and recognizing contributions to the present

10 a.m.–    Collecting Women: Behind the scenes in the Smithsonian's Political History Collection

2:45 p.m.– The Power of Passion

4 p.m.–      Keynote Speaker: Lonnie G. Bunch III

Day 2: Tuesday, April 6

9 a.m.–      Advocacy in Action

1 p.m.–      Law and Preservation

2:30 p.m.– Flash Talk: Keeping the Sounds of African and Native American History with Smithsonian’s Richard Kurin

4 p.m.–      Keynote Speaker: Carol B. Cadou

Day 3: Wednesday, April 7

9 a.m.–      Safekeeping Tomorrow

11:30 a.m–The Conservation of The Jefferson Bible Video Tour

12 p.m.–    Keynote Speaker: Leslie Greene Bowman

About the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative

The Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative, “Because of Her Story,” is one of the country’s most ambitious undertakings to research, collect, document, display and share the rich, complete and compelling story of women in America. Launched in 2018, the initiative seeks to create a more equitable and just American society by creating, educating, disseminating and amplifying the historical record of the accomplishments of American women. More information about the initiative, including exhibitions and public programs, is available online at

About The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America

The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America (NSCDA) is an unincorporated association of 44 Corporate Societies with more than 15,000 members. The NSCDA has been a leader in the field of historic preservation, restoration, and the interpretation of historic sites since its New York Society first undertook the preservation of the Van Cortlandt House in 1897. The organization’s headquarters is located at Dumbarton House, a Federal period house museum in Washington, D.C., which the NSCDA purchased in 1928 and opened as a museum in 1932. 

# # #


Media Only

Alexandria Fairchild

(202) 633-0282

Samantha Dorsey
(202) 337-2288, x2223

Public Programs