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Pope County Library System Genealogy Department Hosts Preserving History Speaker Series


Russellville, Arkansas: The Pope County Library System Genealogy Department is hosting a speaker series about preserving history. Holly Hope, Arkansas History Preservation Program (AHPP) Special Projects Historian, will discuss the correct methods and materials for cleaning historic and modern gravestones this Thursday, April 18, at 5:30 pm at the Pope County Library in Russellville. Hope is responsible for writing nominations for the National Register of Historic Places and the Arkansas Register of Historic Places. She also provides public programs in Arkansas for all ages and has assisted with the AHPP program “Sandwiching in History” and “Walks Through History” tours by researching and writing scripts.

Since 2007, cemetery preservation has become a focal point of community outreach. Four times a year, Hope organizes and facilitates free hands-on cemetery preservation workshops throughout Arkansas. Participants learn best practices for cleaning, basic repair, and leveling of gravestones. Ms. Hope also leads tours of burying grounds, where she highlights funerary architecture and art, and lectures on the appropriate steps for an efficient cemetery clean-up. Because she believes children should be taught to respect their town’s cemeteries and the important information they can provide, Hope includes children as well as adults in her outreach.


The Preserving History series began in March with Dr. Emily Beahm, Station Archeologist at the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute Research Station on Petit Jean Mountain. Future speakers include William Richardson, Reed Cemetery, May 16; Victoria Chandler, Historic Arkansas Museum, June 20; Dr. Gregory Michna, History of Native Americans, July 18; Arkansas State Archives, Document Preservation, August 15; Dr. Kelsey Utne, Varying Cultural Treatment of Corpses, October 17; and Amy Milliken, Arkansas Preservation Program, October 30.

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