Interpreting Historic House Museums

ISBN: 0759102511
ISBN 13: 9780759102514
By: Jessica Foy Donnelly

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About this book

Times are changing at historic house museums and no one is more aware of this than the fourteen contributors to Interpreting Historic House Museums. These respected museum professionals consider the history of house museums and the need to look at familiar issues from new perspectives and using new methods. If your site isn't using a comprehensive interpretive plan, how can you create one? While doing so, how do you address contemporary issues like race and gender? Don't forget the physical either does your property need a landscape plan as well as a furnishings plan? And, when your visitors arrive to see all your hard work, how accessible is your property? If the answer is not very, what can and should you be doing to address that? Once inside, how good are your tours and guides, and does your furnishings plan allow visitors to maximize their experiences in areas without guides? Interpreting Historic House Museums captures the big picture and the important details. Its discussion of contemporary issues and successful programs, its practical guidelines and information, up-to-date references, and lively illustrations will make it useful and relevant for both students and practicing professionals."

Reader's Thoughts


I think if this is a book for you, you probably already know it from the title. If you do not do any interpreting of historic house museums, you should probably steer clear of this book. If, however, you are frequently interpreting historic house museums, this is a very handy book to have. There are all kinds of different essays in here: how to improve tours, different kinds of tours, how to work in the landscape, how to tell more effective stories about people, etc, etc. Public Historians should keep it on the bookshelf. Incidentally, the late, lamented Astors' Beechwood is a case study in one of the chapters. I miss my fellow Beechwoodians. I often feel nostalgic for 1891.

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