The Living History Anthology : Perspectives from ALHFAM book cover
1st Edition

The Living History Anthology
Perspectives from ALHFAM

ISBN 9781138353718
Published January 7, 2019 by Routledge
262 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The Living History Anthology brings together twenty-six practical essays on the craft of establishing and running living history museums. Contributions cover all aspects of developing and running a living history site.

Including contributions on strategic planning, human resource management, research programs, collection policies, and engagement with varied audiences, including indigenous groups, the book demonstrates how to approach such tasks from a living history perspective. Topics unique to the sector, such as re-enactment, historic trade crafts, and working with machinery and livestock, are also covered. Each essay is briefly introduced and contextualized by the editors, while the collection is bookended by a new foreword and afterword from Debra A. Reid, and an introduction from the editors.

Representing the collective wisdom of the Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums (ALHFAM) members across the decades, The Living History Anthology provides a valuable resource for all living history practitioners. It should also be of interest to students and scholars studying living history.

Table of Contents


Part I: Introduction

Bringing History to Life  Martha B. Katz-Hyman, Cliff Jones, Susan J. McCabe, and Mary Seelhorst

Part II: Defining Living History: Or, How Living History Came to Be

1. Revisiting Living History: A Business, An Art, A Pleasure, An Education  Kathryn Boardman

2. Living Historical Farms Virginia Wolf Briscoe

Part III: Planning and Managing: Or, The Business End of the Bull 

3. Visitor Comfort, Safety, and Access at a Living History Site Nan Rickey and Jerry Shapins

4. How to Hire the Best Person for Your Living History Site Derrick Birdsall

5. Friends Indeed: Creating a Successful Museum Volunteer Program David W. Floyd

6. Planning Living History Programs and Facilities: Seven Areas of Concern Edward L. Hawes

Part IV: Teaching and Learning: Or, Interpretation is a Many-Splendored Thing

7. Choosing Your Method: Strengths and Weaknesses of Interpretive Techniques Prudence P. Haines, Ron Kley, and William Reid

8. Reconnecting with Agriculture: Practical Approaches Barbara Corson

9. First person interpretation: Perspectives on Interpreter-Visitor Communication Lynne D. Dierking

10. Historically Correct Trade Craft Presentations: Are they Possible? A Question to Provoke More Questions Tom Kelleher

11. Special Events and Their Impact on Museums: The Eleven Commandments of Public Programs Ken Yellis

12. Utilizing Living History Hobby Resources Thomas Shaw

13. Using Their Voices: Engaging Cultural Communities In Living History Ellen Gasser

Part V: Living Collections: Or, Putting the Life in Living History

14. Breeds and Seeds Andrew H. Baker

15. Management Policies for Living Collections Andrew H. Baker

16. Living with Livestock: A Primer on Livestock Program Planning and Implementation Wendy Engler

Part VI: Researching and Collecting: Or, The Right Stuff

17. Sketch of a Theory for Outdoor History Museums Mark P. Leone

18. Tier Levels and Collections Management: Adapting Traditional Museum Approaches for Historic Site Use Deborah Scott

19. The Right Stuff: How to Get It Martha B. Katz-Hyman and Michael L. Woodcock

20. Attitudes Toward Machinery Peter Ledwith

21. Acquisition and Restoration of Appropriate Machinery for Living Historical Sites Tom Brown and George Nicholson

22. Serving Two Masters: Accurate Costuming for Small Historic Sites Carrie Fellows and Heidi Campbell-Shoaf

23. Connections: Forethought in Interpretation J. Marc Meltonville, Richard Fitch, Robert Hoare, and Robin Mitchener

24. The Basics of Writing Furnishings Plans Martha B. Katz-Hyman and Michael L. Woodcock

Part VII: Rewards and Challenges: Or, Growing and Evolving

25. Living Things Grow and Evolve: The Evolution and Expansion of Living History Tom Kelleher

26. Sowbelly and Seedbanks: The Living History Museum as a Process Repository Roger L. Welsch

Part VIII: Further Reading

Living History Highpoints: A Bibliographic Essay Debra A. Reid


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Martha B. Katz-Hyman is Communications Manager at the ALHFAM, and a member of the curatorial staff at the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Williamsburg, VA, USA.

Cliff Jones is Curator of the South Dumfries Historical Society in St. George, Ontario, Canada.

Susan J. McCabe has over thirty years of experience working at historic sites in the USA and as a museum consultant specializing in interpretation and collections.

Mary Seelhorst is a freelance museum exhibit developer, writer, and musician based in Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA.