Historic Preservation Education Foundation Intern Emily Vance presented a talk on the life and work of preservation pioneer Lee Nelson at the University of Oregon’s Special Collections and University Archives on February 26, 2014. Vance, a student at the University’s Historic Preservation Program, also opened an exhibition that she developed at the Knight Library featuring items from the Lee Nelson Papers. The presentation and exhibition extended Vance’s recently completed work on an annotated bibliography of the Lee Nelson collection held at the university’s archives. The detailed bibliography of Nelson’s papers will aid those interested in utilizing the collection and celebrate Nelson’s contribution to the field. The reception following Vance’s presentation and the ongoing exhibition are hosted by the Special Collections and University Archives at University of Oregon.
Throughout his long career as a National Park Service architect, Lee Nelson (1928-1994) helped nurture and shape the historic preservation movement in the United States. He was a co-founder of the Association for Preservation Technology International and led the investigation and documentation of Independence Hall and other historic sites. As Chief of the Technical Preservation Services in the National Park Service, Nelson established the Preservation Brief series and oversaw the publication of numerous other case studies and technical guidance. Lee Nelson’s papers, including historic structure reports, correspondence, published and unpublished research, pamphlets, articles, and images are held by the University of Oregon’s Special Collections & University Archives.