The Future of the Past Last year the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation conducted a survey of over 40 living history organizations. Read the results in this blog written by director of education Mark Howell.
Hopefully by now word of ALHFAM’s Skill Training and Preservation initiative (STP) has permeated the living history community, arousing interest. For some it may also have raised questions. What is being preserved and why? What infrastructure is needed at our living history sites to nurture the ongoing acquisition of historic skills and their preservation? Are… Continue reading It Takes A Village
by Mike Smola Moses Goods portraying Henry ʻŌpūkahaʻiaPhoto Credit: Gina Maeda Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives has spent the last eight years developing a very successful History Theater program through our Oʻahu Cemetery Pupu Theatre program. These are first-person, scripted portrayals of actual historical figures from Hawaiian history. The last several years of… Continue reading Have Actors, Will Travel!: Reconnecting Hawaiʻi and New England through the Humanities
Excerpt of an article written by Clarissa F. Dillon, 2003, Past Masters in Early American Domestic Arts, Haverford, Pennsylvania. ALHFAM members can access the full text of this article and thousands more though the A.S.K. database. Not a member? Join today! There are many reasons why some colonial cooks are faced with sites that won't… Continue reading Colonial Cooking: When THEY Won’t Let You Use the Hearth
The Jesuit priests could be found at various villages of the Wendat on any given day, conducting services, and teaching and preaching Catholicism with the help of various Donnes who signed contracts with the Jesuit order for work in exchange for food shelter and clothing. In the later years of Sainte Marie, an increasing threat… Continue reading Sainte Marie among the Hurons, Part 2
By Kimberly Costa, Independent Historian The main goal of any first- or third-person interpreter is to engage the visitor on a level meaningful to that visitor. To engage can mean a myriad of things: to capture their attention, teach a lesson, give a point of view, to shock the senses or simply to make the… Continue reading Dealing with the Disconnected Visitor
This is a challenge that every interpreter faces. The terror of being ‘out there’ has fallen off; we know our duties, our route, and the information. We’ve learned to story-tell, guide and demonstrate. We can handle the crowds and that one guest with all the tricky questions. But what we can’t know is coming is…repetition.… Continue reading Going Stale – It happens to the best of us
By David Makowsky, Ukranian Cultural Heritage Village Journalists have a tremendous influence in shaping a visitor’s decisions on what to include on their “must do” list. In today’s digital age, a photo or article conveying a museum’s story can raise the public awareness of the institution. The return on investment can be tremendous. For example,… Continue reading To Arms, To Arms… the Media are Coming!
by Tom Kelleher, Old Sturbridge Village & Past President, ALHFAM “I am setting hooks to capture your interest and imagination!” I have been a costumed historical interpreter for a long time now, and have enjoyed visiting living history museums since I was a child. For many decades the best sites strove for ever-greater historical authenticity.… Continue reading What are you doing?
By Jochen Welsch, Old Sturbridge Village Visitors to Old Sturbridge Village routinely ask if, and usually assume, that early nineteenth-century farmers were "organic." Most look perplexed when we answer that no, early nineteenth-century farmers were not organic. The public assumes that agricultural history and organic farming go hand in hand. This reveals a basic misunderstanding… Continue reading The Myth of Our Organic Past