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Dean Herrin Named Chief Historian For NCR

National Park News

Dean Herrin, a 24-year veteran of the National Park Service, has been named the new chief historian for National Capital Region.

Herrin previously served for 14 years as the National Park Service coordinator of the Catoctin Center for Regional Studies, a collaborative project of the NPS and Frederick Community College in Frederick, Maryland.  The Catoctin Center works with students, historical organizations, public agencies, and others to foster a better understanding of the history and culture of Mid-Maryland and the surrounding region, to provide training and internships in the field of public history, and to assist in NPS initiatives in the region. 

Herrin was also editor of the award-winning Catoctin History, the regional history magazine of the Catoctin Center, and one of the creators of “Crossroads of War: Maryland and the Border in the Civil War,” a website exploring the Civil War era in Maryland and neighboring states.

Herrin began his NPS career in 1990 as a historian and project leader with the Historic American Buildings Survey / Historic American Engineering Record, an NPS program that documents historic structures and sites across the United States.  Herrin showcased many of these sites in his book, America Transformed: Engineering and Technology in the Nineteenth Century - Selections from the Historic American Engineering Record, National Park Service (2002).  Herrin is also the co-editor and contributor to Montgomery C. Meigs and the Building of the Nation's Capital (2001).

“We are thrilled to have Dean joining the region’s cultural resource team," said Joy Beasley, the region's chief of cultural resources. "Dean’s experience working with parks and partners to translate complex and sometimes controversial histories into compelling programs and diverse media is essential.  We look forward to his leadership of the NCR history program and his continued support of our parks and resources.”

“I am excited about my new role in the National Park Service,” said Herrin, “and I’m looking forward to helping historians and parks throughout the region engage the public in the fascinating history of our country represented by our national parks.”

Herrin holds a PhD in American history from the University of Delaware.  He earned his BA from Brown University and an MA from the Winterthur Program in early American culture at the University of Delaware.  While obtaining his doctorate, Herrin was also a fellow in the Hagley Program in the History of Industrial America at the University of Delaware.

Herrin lives in Frederick, Maryland, with his wife, Sarah Heald, who is a planner at the National Park Service’s Harpers Ferry Center.  They have one daughter, Emma, who is in college.


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