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Dr. Nora Pat  Small

Dr. Nora Pat Small

Professor, Interim Department Chair

Office: 2526 - Coleman Hall
Phone: 217-581-3310
Email: npsmall@eiu.edu

Nora Pat Small's Vita
The historic built environment is my passion and my academic research area. Historic architectural documents of our past surround us; all we need do is figure out how to read them. The vernacular landscape reveals culture and society as surely as our carefully archived print and manuscript collections do.

Office hours vary by semester. Please call or email for information.

Frequently Taught Courses

HIS 2010 US History to 1877

HIS 5050 American Architectural History

HIS 5060 Historic Preservation in the United States


BA, University of Delaware, Art History

Master of Architectural History, Certificate in Historic Preservation, University of Virginia; Master's Thesis: Lighthouses of the Eastern Seaboard

PhD, Boston University; Dissertation: "Beauty and Convenience: The Architectural Reordering of Sutton, Massachusetts, 1790-1840"

Professional Organizations

Vernacular Architecture Forum

Society of Architectural Historians

American Association of Museums

American Association for State and Local History

Society for the History of the Early American Republic


My research focuses on the built environment of the Early American Republic. I am fascinated by the intersections of archtecture, technology, economics, society, and politics in that period when Americans began to self-consciously shape the landscape of their new nation.

Selected Publications

Beauty and Convenience: Architecture and Order in the New Republic, University of Tennessee Press, 2003

Selected Conference Presentations

Most recent:
"Erasing Radicalism in the Rural Midwest? Preserving New Harmony, Indiana," International Conference on Cultural Landscapes and Heritage Values, U Mass., Amherst, May 2015.

Commenter, Panel on “The CCC and the Land Lincoln: Interpreting a Layered History at Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site,” Illinois History Conference, Springfield, September, 2011

"The Economic and Iconic Power of Lighthouses in the Early Republic," presented at the Society for the History of the Early American Republic conference, July, 2009

" 'To Embrace or Breach': Fence Meanings and Metaphors," in conjunction with Dr. Debra Reid, lecture delivered at multiple sites in conjunction with local openings of the Smithsonian Institution's Museums on Main Street exhibit "Between Fences," Fall 2005-Spring 2006, and Fall 2008-Spring 2009

Funding & Grants

NEH summer Seminar Scholar, Philadelphia, 20ll. Seminar on "The Early American Republic and the Problems of Governance".


Charleston Historic Preservation Commission, ex officio member

Lincoln Log Cabin Foundation Board, secretary

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