What are National Historic Landmark Theme Studies?
National Historic Landmarks are often identified through theme studies.Theme studies are an effective way of identifying and nominating properties because they provide a comparative analysis of properties associated with a specific area of American history, such as the fur trade, earliest Americans, women's history, Greek Revival architecture, Man in Space, or labor history. Theme studies provide a national historic context for specific topics in American history or prehistory. In order to make the case for national significance, a theme study must provide that necessary national historic context so that national significance may be judged for a number of related properties.
Theme studies relating to the theme 'Transforming the Environment':
Archaic Shell Rings of the Southeast U.S. National Historic Landmarks Historic Context: The purpose of this theme study is to provide the archeological and historical context for nominating nationally significant Late Archaic shell-ring sites for designation as NHLs. From South Carolina to Mississippi, Archaic shell rings are found among coastal settings on islands, the mainland, river banks, and buried beneath marshes. These enormous monuments are some of the earliest large-scale public works in the United States.
The History of Large Federal Dams: Planning, Design, and Construction in the Era of Big Dams: Together, the Bureau of Reclamation and the Corps of Engineers have built the vast majority of major federal dams in the United States. This theme study explores the story of federal contributions to dam planning, design, and construction by carefully selecting those dams and river systems that seem particularly critical to the story. This history also addresses some of the negative environmental consequences of dam-building.
Geology: The Geology NHL theme study primarily focuses on the identification of sites in the areas of physical geology, historical geology and economic geology and secondarily in the identification of sites in the areas of planetary geology, exploration, scientific, and topographical surveys.