Tag Archives: Bill Adair

Historic House Museums a Special Focus for the Public Historian

Jane Addams Hull-House Museum by Brandon Bartoszek

Jane Addams Hull-House Museum by Brandon Bartoszek

The May 2015 issue of the Public Historian was just released and provides a dozen articles related to historic house museums.  Lisa Junkin Lopez, associate director of the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum and guest editor of this special issue, provides the criteria that helped her select the articles and her vision of historic house museums:

Though a number of sites have turned to revenue-generating activities like weddings and farmers’ markets to stay afloat, rigorous historical content has not necessarily been quashed in favor of parlor room cocktail hours and heirloom tomato beds. Many sites have recommitted to the project of excavating their own histories, digging deeper to find relevance with contemporary audiences and identifying new methods for engagement along the way.

The individual essays are case studies of various projects at historic house museums, but many question and even break the basic assumptions of museum practices and historic preservation standards.  This shift will need to be watched because Continue reading

Pine Point: Interpreting a Vanished Town

Pine Point, an interactive Web documentary by The Goggles.

Last week I had a chance to visit Bill Adair, director of the Heritage Philadelphia Program and one of the co-authors of the new book, Letting Go?:  Sharing Historical Authority in a User-Generated World.  As usual, we had a wide ranging discussion which included his interest in the work of The Goggles, an award-winning Canadian design group headed by Paul Shoebridge and Michael Simons.  He was particularly taken by “Pine Point,” an interactive web documentary about a northern mining town that closed in 1988 and was demolished.  Through oral histories, documents, video, and artifacts, the story of this ghost town is told in a mesmerizing scrapbook style.  If you’re looking for a way to interpret a place in a new way on the Web, this might provide some inspiration.