Picture of Marilyn Marjory Drath

Marilyn Marjory Drath

Public History


A Michigan-native, Marilyn is passionate about preserving the built environment. Her doctoral research draws on previous graduate work in urban planning and looks for intersections between the development of the planning profession, urban history, cultural landscapes, historic preservation, and large-scale cultural events. 

In addition to her work in planning and preservation, Marilyn has undertaken projects at the Chicago History Museum, Chicago Children’s Museum, and the North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program. She enjoys volunteering and is a current docent at the North Carolina Museum of History, helping interpret material artifacts for guests of all ages. Beyond volunteering, Marilyn worked with the Friends of Oberlin Village, a local preservation organization comprised of descendants from one of the city’s freedmen villages.  

While working on her PhD in Public History, Marilyn is concurrently pursuing the Teaching & Communication Certificate, a program of the NC State Graduate School, and the City Design Certificate, an interdisciplinary effort between NC State’s College of Design and UNC’s Department of City & Regional Planning. 


Marilyn is currently in the early stages of her dissertation research and is investigating the connection between the U.S. historic preservation movement, particularly in the 1930s and 1960s, and major U.S.-hosted world’s fairs during those decades. 

In 2018, she completed the ARCUS Preservation Fellowship program, a joint effort of Preservation 50 and Cultural Heritage Partners, that trains preservation leaders in tribal preservation, grassroots organizing, and nonprofit management. 


  • M.U.P in Community, Economic, & Real Estate Development Planning from University of Michigan, 2012
  • Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation from Eastern Michigan University, 2012
  • A.B. in History from University of Michigan, 2009