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SHEET Application Guidelines

Slave House Exploration and Evidence Tracing Field School

Collecting and telling the stories of enslaved people in America requires specialized skills, interdisciplinary research, innovative thinking, and collaboration. The Slave House Exploration and Evidence Tracing (SHEET) Field School is a pioneering intergenerational and transdisciplinary experience for independent family researchers, students, academic scholar-practitioners, and the public. Hosted by Saving Slave Houses (SSH) this hybrid field school and public workshop at Pharsalia Plantation in Nelson County, Virginia explores the intersections between the built environment, history, humanities, community, and storytelling. It is designed to teach its participants how to use the data they collect (e.g., fieldwork, archival research, and genealogy) as effective storytelling tools that can reach a wide, diverse audience. Through intensive examination of the built environment participants will gain necessary skills to recognize and interpret the landscape of slavery from the perspective of enslaved people.

SHEET’s 2024 season will focus on the Kitchen-Hospital-Quarter at Pharsalia. The building will be explored and documented through four lenses: people, landscape, details, and archaeology. Professionals from a wide range of disciplines will introduce participants to a series of documentation techniques such as hand sketching, measured drawings, 3D laser scanning, photography, and archaeology. Participants will also learn about the importance of oral histories as a form documentation and interpretation.

SHEET Overview

Field School Dates

The 2024 SHEET field school consists of two 1-week sessions.

  • Session 1: Sunday, July 21 through Saturday, July 27, 2024
  • Session 2: Sunday, July 28 through Saturday, August 3, 2024


All applicants must be 18 years of age or older. No prior educational training or professional experience is required. Special consideration will be given to applicants who are descendants of enslaved communities with ancestral ties to Virginia.

Application Window

Monday, February 05, 2024, to Tuesday, March 05, 2024

Applications are due by 12am (midnight) EST on Tuesday, March 05, 2024

Application Process

Admission into SHEET will be granted through a public application process. Selected candidates will be offered an opportunity to participate following an application review and a virtual (Zoom) interview. Each session can accommodate six participants.


Please submit all questions using the SHEET Inquiry Form .