Imagining New Careers in Public History

A working group

Eureka!

June 10, 2010. George Washington Birthplace National Monument. Leading a group of Philly museum professionals on a tour through Virginia, seeking out new approaches to interpreting the history of slavery. I know this place well, having written its administrative history for the NPS some years prior. It was a fun project, though a challenging one, as I used it to argue that visitors were ready to hear a more complicated story about why we remember Washington the way we do. We enter the visitor’s center and I see a new park brochure, fresh from the printer. The old brochure was hagiographic, a la “witness here the birthplace of a great man.” The new brochure begins: “The evolving memorialization of Washington at his birthplace reveals something about us as well.” To my absolute surprise, it appeared as if somebody somewhere had taken my report seriously. Small change = big smile!

~Seth

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  1. Pingback: Eureka! « Imagining New Careers in Public History « VanRanke and Droysen

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