Session of the Week: The Period of Significance is NOW: Catalytic Change at Historic Sites

In an effort to highlight the diverse range of scholarship at the upcoming annual meeting, we’re highlighting different sessions here on the blog each week.

Lincoln-NTHistoric house museums and sites constitute one of the largest and most vulnerable segments of museums in the United States because their existing operating models lack the ability to sustain them, both culturally and financially. The imperative is as much operational as it is methodological and cultural. In 2012, the National Trust for Historic Preservation was one of three organizations selected to participate in the Innovation Lab for Museums, sponsored by the Met Life Foundation and the American Alliance for Museums, and set about to create catalytic change across its portfolio of 27 historic sites based around the idea that the period of significance for historic sites and house museums must be NOW. This effort is guided by the principles that historic sites must be responsive to community; financially stable; foster an understanding of history and culture that is critical, layered, and sensory, and inclusive; and encompass the full breadth, depth and often-marginalized scope of American history.

This panel explore the way a range of historic sites and stewardship organizations are addressing the issues and realigning their mission and interpretation to respond to these new challenges.

Sponsored by the Local Arrangements Committee

AHA Session 211

Sunday, January 4, 2014: 8:30 AM-10:30 AM

Virginia Suite B (Marriott Wardman Park)

Chair: Estevan Rael-Gálvez, National Trust for Historic Preservation

Papers:

Senses, Stories, and Places: Doing Better History at Historic Sites

Estevan Rael-Gálvez, National Trust for Historic Preservation

Escaping the Past to Tell Its Story: Contemporary Immigration at the Tenement Museum

Morris Vogel, Lower East Side Tenement Museum

Emancipation Then and Now: The Arc of History at President Lincoln’s Cottage

Erin Mast, President Lincoln’s Cottage, a Site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation

Changing National Parks: To Tell the Whole Hi(story) of American Women

Heather Huyck, National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites

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