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 [graphic] Telling the Stories: Planning Effective Interpretive Programs for Properties Listed in the National Register of Historic Places

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U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service


There are many places to turn for more information on the topics discussed in this bulletin, most of which have been studied in detail by interpreters, historians, and others. This section provides a list of sources where additional information can be found, divided by topic following the order used in this bulletin, and annotated in some cases. Much of the material on this list will need to be ordered through inter-library loan, although some of it may be found in local school or university libraries or is available online. This section also includes a list of organizations that can provide assistance. Published sources can be purchased from some of these organizations. This section concludes with brief guidelines for identifying and selecting consultants to help with planning or creating interpretive programs.


Contact Information:

National Register of Historic Places
National Park Service
1849 C Street, NW, #2280
Washington, DC 20240
(202) 354-2213

Copies of individual National Register nominations and MPS forms can be obtained from the National Register or from historic preservation offices in each state (see below). Each nomination contains a description, historical background, evaluation of historic significance, bibliography, boundary description, maps, and current photographs. Some may contain copies of historic maps, photographs, or other documents.

The National Register Information System (NRIS) provides an index to the over 71,000 properties listed in 1999. It can also use selected data elements, such as location, period of significance, significant person, architectural style, or historical theme, to identify single properties or related groups of properties. Information on the NRIS can be obtained through the address and telephone number for the National Register listed above. It also can be accessed directly through the National Register Web site. The Web site provides links to National Register travel itineraries and introductions to and examples of Teaching with Historic Places educational materials.

National Register Bulletins

Other bulletins in this series can be useful in developing interpretive programs. Many of these were initially prepared to help people who wanted to nominate particular property types. They provide a wealth of information which can be used to enrich the story of a specific place, such as a post office or historic mine, for instance. Most also include useful bibliographies.

Bulletins can be ordered from the National Register at the address shown above or by e-mail at nr_reference@nps.gov.

Related publications dealing with National Register programs include:

African American Historic Places. Washington, DC: The Preservation Press, 1994 (distributed by John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY)

Chambers, S. Allen, Jr. National Landmarks, America's Treasures: The National Park Foundation's Complete Guide to National Historic Landmarks. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2000.

Cultural Diversity and Historic Preservation. Special issue of CRM (Cultural Resources Management-a journal published by the National Park Service), Vol. 15, No. 7, 1992

The National Register of Historic Places, 1966-1994. Washington, DC: Preservation Press, 1995 (distributed by John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY)
A cumulative list with abbreviated information on all properties included in the National Register as of the end of 1994.

Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itineraries, National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service.
Produced in cooperation with the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers and local communities around the country, each itinerary includes a map, a brief description of each site's importance, and a series of full-color photographs.

Teaching with Historic Places lesson plans, National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service.
Created by National Park Service interpreters, preservation professionals, and educators, these lessons use historic sites to examine developments throughout American history and across the country. The lesson plans are designed for secondary school students learning history, social studies, geography, and other subjects in the humanities. Each lesson includes maps, readings, and photographs, all of which are accompanied by questions; at the end are activities that pull together the ideas students have just covered.

Teaching With Historic Places. Special issue of CRM, Vol. 16, No. 2, 1993.

The Multiple Property Approach Video: Nominating Groups of Properties to the National Register of Historic Places, National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service, 1992.

Through the Generations: Identifying and Protecting Traditional Cultural Places Video, National Register of Historic Places, National Park Service, 1994.

Using the National Register of Historic Places. Special issue of CRM, Vol 17, No. 2, 1994



Alderson, William T., and Shirley Payne Low. Interpretation of Historic Sites. Nashville, TN: American Association for State and Local History, 1976.
One of the few books on interpretation that deals specifically with historic sites. Its primary focus is on historic house museums and interpretation by trained docents, but it also contains much information that can be useful in planning other kinds of programs. Helpful appendices include concrete examples.

Beck, Larry, and Ted Cable. Interpretation for the 21st Century: Fifteen Guiding Principles for Interpreting Nature and Culture. Champaign, IL: Sagamore Publications, 1997.

Ecroyd, Donald H. Talking with Young Visitors in the Parks.Philadelphia, PA: Eastern National Park & Monument Association, 1993.
Includes a discussion of how children at different ages learn and how interpreters need to respond.

Falk, John H., and Lynn D. Dierking. The Museum Experience.Washington, DC: Whalesback Books, 1992.

Fleming, Ronald Lee, and Judith Hadden Edington. If Walls Could Talk: Telling the Story of a Historic Building to Create a Market Edge.Washington, DC: The National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1989

Explains why interpretation is good business for projects funded with the Investment Tax Credit. Good examples and planning guidelines.

Grater, Russell K. The Interpreter's Handbook-Methods, Skills, and Techniques. Globe, AZ: Southwestern Parks and Monuments Association, 1976.

Grinder, Alison L., and E. Sue McCoy. The Good Guide: A Sourcebook for Interpreters, Docents, and Tour Guides.Scottsdale, AZ: Ironwood Press, 1985.
A basic primer on starting and sustaining a program with "live" interpreters.

Knudson, Douglas M., Ted T. Cable, and Larry Beck. Interpretation of Cultural and Natural Resources. State College, PA: Venture Publishing, ca. 1995.

Lewis, William J. Interpreting for Park Visitors. Philadelphia, PA: Eastern Acorn Press, 1980.
Designed primarily for rangers giving tours, talks, or demonstrations in the national parks, Interpreting for Park Visitors provides a great deal of information that can be used in a variety of interpretive situations. It discusses the principles, goals, and primary elements of interpretation in a style that is both effective and easy to read, with lively cartoon illustrations. It also explains how to provide information and orientation effectively. The "Self-Evaluation" section allows interpreters to review their own presentations and correct potential problems themselves.

Machlis, Gary E., and Donald R. Field, eds. On Interpretation: Sociology for Interpreters of Natural and Cultural History. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press, ca. 1992.

Regnier, Kathleen, Michael Gross, and Ron Zimmerman. Interpreter's Guidebook: Techniques for Programs and Presentations. Stephens Point, WI: UW-SP Foundation Press, ca. 1992.
Useful advice for planning personal interpretation. This book covers both the basics (tours and slide talks) and more creative techniques (living history, storytelling, puppets, etc.). It also includes chapters on interpretation for children and methods of evaluation.

Risk, Paul H., "Interpretation: A Road to Creative Enlightenment, CRM: Historic Transportation Corridors, Vol. 16, No. 11 (1993), pp. 47-49.

----, "Interpretation: A Road to Creative Enlightenment," CRM: Using the National Register of Historic Places, Vol. 17, No. 2 (1994), pp. 37, 40.
Both articles provide details on Risk's "sensitivity continuum" and also include a variety of imaginative suggestions for interpretive programs.

----, "A Public Historiography: Review Essay." The Public Historian, Vol. 14, No. 3 (Summer 1992).
While this article is primarily a review of state highway historical marker programs and local guides to historical resources, it also addresses broad questions about the interpretation of historic places.

Sharpe, Grant. Interpreting the Environment. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1976.

Colleges and universities teaching interpretation have been using this classic text for many years. Sharpe discusses the advantages of specific interpretive media in detail and provides help in defining and producing effective non-personal interpretive programs.

Tilden, Freeman. Interpreting Our Heritage, 3rd ed. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1977.
This classic text sits dog-eared and well-thumbed on many interpreters' bookshelves. Tilden's principles of interpretation still provide an excellent place to begin any discussion of what constitutes quality interpretation.

The National Park Service's Interpretive Development Program (IDP) Web site contains the Interpretive Development Curriculum used for training National Park Service interpreters.


Acosta-Belen, Edna. The Puerto Rican Woman. New York: Praeger, 1970.

Armitage, Susan and Elizabeth Jameson, eds. The Women's West. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1987.

Bailyn, Bernard. The Peopling of British North America: An Introduction. New York: Knopf, 1985.

Baum, Willa K. Oral History for the Local Historical Society. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, ca. 1995.

Baxandall, Rosalyn, Linda Gordon, and Susan Reverby, eds. America's Working Women: A Documentary History. New York: Random House, 1976.

Blassingame, John W. The Slave Community: Plantation Life in the Antebellum South. Revised ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1979.

Berlin, Ira. Slaves Without Masters: The Free Negro in the Antebellum South. New York: Pantheon Books, 1974.

Bodnar, John, ed. The Transplanted: A History of Immigrants in Urban America. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1985.

Boyd, Alex, ed. Guide to Multicultural Resources: 1997/1998. Fort Atkinson, WI: Highsmith Press, ca. 1998.

Buhle, Paul and Alan Dawley, eds. Working for Democracy: American Workers from the Revolution to the Present. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1985.

Crow, Jeffrey J. "Interpreting Slavery in the Classroom and at Historic Sites," Perspectives (newsletter of the American Historical Association) Vol. 36, No. 3 (March 1998), pp. 23-26.

Diner, Hasia. Erin's Daughters in America: Irish Immigrant Women in the Nineteenth Century. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983.

Earle, Alice Morse. Colonial Dames and Goodwives. 1927; New York: Unger, 1962.

Etienne, Mona and Eleanor Leacock, eds. Women and Colonization: Anthropological Perspectives. New York: Praeger, 1979.
Includes essays on Native American women.
Exploring a Common Past: Interpreting Women's History in the National Park Service. Washington, DC: National Park Service, 1996.
Contains a useful bibliography, as well as a discussion of recent trends and problems in interpreting women's history in the National Park Service.

Flexner, Eleanor. Century of Struggle: The Women's Rights Movement in the United States. 1959; New York: Atheneum, 1970.

Foner, Eric. A Short History of Reconstruction. New York: Harper and Row, 1990.

Frisch, Michael and Daniel Walkowitz, eds. Working Class America. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois, 1983.

Genovese, Eugene. Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made. New York: Pantheon Books, 1974.

Groneman, Carol, and Mary Beth Norton, eds. "To Toil the Livelong Day": America's Women at Work, 1780-1960. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1987.

Gutman, Herbert. The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom. New York: Pantheon Books, 1976.

Harley, Sharon, and Rosalind Terborg-Penn, eds. The Afro-American Woman: Struggles and Images. Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press, 1978.

Hutchinson, Edward P. Legislative History of American Immigration Policy, 1798-1965. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1981.

Jackson, Kenneth. Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985.

Jameson, John H., Jr. Presenting Archaeology to the Public: Digging for Truths. Walnut Grove, CA: AltaMira Press, 1997.

This book describes how archeological sites across the nation are telling their stories to the public.

Jones, Jacqueline. Labor of Love, Labor of Sorrow: Black Women, Work and the Family from Slavery to the Present. New York: Basic Books, 1985.

Kammen, Carol. On Doing Local History: Reflections on What Local Historians Do, Why, and What It Means. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, 1995.
Originally published by the American Association for State, and Local History (AASLH) in 1986, this book is an excellent guide for using the widest possible array of sources, from documents to material culture to oral history, to illuminate the past. Provides suggestions for ways that the history of a place can be expanded to ensure that stories of women and underdocumented ethnic and cultural groups are included.

________. "When Not Being Wrong Is Not Good Enough." History News Vol. 51, No. 4 (Autumn 1996), pp. 3-4.
This column, a regular feature in History News, discusses the dangers of factually accurate, but incomplete information.

Kammen, Michael, ed. The Past Before Us: Contemporary Historical Writing in the United States. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1980.

Kerber, Jordan E. Cultural Resource Management: Archaeological Research, Preservation Planning, and Public Education in the Northeastern United States. Westport, CT: Green Publishing Group, ca. 1997

Kessler-Harris, Alice. Out to Work: A History of Wage-Earning Women in the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982.

----. Women Have Always Worked: A Historical Overview. Old Westbury, NY: Feminist Press, 1981.

Kettner, James H. The Development of American Citizenship, 1608-1870. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1978.

Kyvig, David E., and Myron A. Marty. Nearby History: Exploring the Past Around You. Walnut Grove, CA: AltaMira Press, 1996.

First published by the AASLH in 1982, this useful book is the first in the "Nearby History" series, which now includes volumes on documenting local schools, houses and homes, public places, places of worship, and businesses.

Leon, Warren, and Roy Rosenzweig, ed. History Museums in the United States: A Critical Assessment. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1989.

Meinig, D.W. The Shaping of America: A Geographical Perspective on 500 Years of History: Atlantic America, 1492-1800. Vol. I. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1986.

Miller, Randall M. A., and Thomas D. Marzik, eds. Immigrants and Religion in Urban America. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1977.

Spruill, Julia Cherry. Women's Life and Work in the Southern Colonies. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1938.

Strasser, Susan. Never Done: A History of American Housework. New York: Pantheon Books, 1982.

Uhl, Lauren, "The Kins House: Museum of the American Immigrant Experience." History News, Vol. 51, No. 2 (Spring 1996), pp. 6-9.

Thernstrom, Stephan, Ann Orlov, and Oscar Handlin, eds. Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1980.


Delaware & Lehigh Canal Heritage Corridor, Interpretive and Educational Plan. Bethlehem, PA: Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor Commission, 1999.
Developed to help a wide variety of sites related by the transportation corridor develop integrated programs. Includes definitions of terms, a method for site assessment, a descriptions of personal and non-personal interpretive services, and other information.

Getting Started: How to Succeed in Heritage Tourism. Washington, DC: National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1993.
An excellent overview of techniques for developing tourism in historic areas, full of easy-to-follow, logically organized advice and real examples.

Harpers Ferry Center (US) Division of Interpretive Planning. Planning for Interpretation and Visitor Experience. Harpers Ferry, WV: [National Park Service], Harpers Ferry Center, 1998.

"Interpretive Planning: Interpretation and Visitor Guideline, NPS-6, Chapter III." Pamphlet. Washington, DC: Department of the Interior, National Park Service, 1996.
This booklet outlines the National Park Service Comprehensive Interpretive Planning (CIP) process.

Paskowsky, Michael. Interpretive Planning Handbook. Washington, DC: National Park Service, 1983.

Produced for use by National Park Service staff, this handbook describes both the planning process and the advantages and disadvantages of interpretive media.

Veverka, John. Interpretive Master Planning. Helena, MT: Falcon Press, 1994.

Based upon years of experience, Veverka's book provides step-by-step guidance in interpretive planning. It also discusses trails, auto tours, and interpretive exhibits.


Brewer, Ernest W., Charles M. Achilles, and Jay R. Fuhriman. Finding Funding: Grantwriting for the Financially Challenged Educator. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, ca. 1993.

Campobasso, Laura, Emille Mead, and Jeff Schwartz. A Guide to Designing Effective Proposals. MD: World Wildlife Fund Publications, 1991.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy
Bi-weekly periodical with articles, resources, calendars, grant deadlines, and much more. Call 1-800-347-6969 for information.

Ferguson, Jacqueline, ed. The Grantseeker's Guide to Project Evaluation. Alexandria, VA: Capitol Publications, 1992.

The Foundation Center. The Foundation Directory
The Directory lists a number of organizations that fund preservation or educational projects. It also identifies the geographic area in which foundations are particularly active. The Foundation Center is an independent national service organization established by the foundations themselves to provide information on private giving. The Center maintains comprehensive reference collections in New York, Washington, DC, Cleveland, and San Francisco. A core collection of Foundation Center publications, including the Directory, is available in a number of cooperating collections, including libraries, community foundations and other non-profit agencies. Many of these cooperating collections also provide special services for local nonprofit organizations, using staff or volunteers to prepare special materials, organize workshops, or conduct orientations. To find the location of the nearest cooperating collection and for other current information, call 1-800-424-9836 or check the Center's web site: www.fdncenter.org

Grantsmanship Center, Nonprofit Catalog
The Center also publishes a magazine and provides training. For more information, call 213-482-9860 or consult the Center's web page: www.tgci.com/.

Hall, Mary. Getting Funded: A Complete Guide to Proposal Writing. Portland, OR: Continuing Education Publications, 1988.

Public Management Institute. Corporate 500: The Directory of Corporate Philanthropy.
Call 415-896-1900 for information.

Reilly, Patti. "Grants-A New Way of Thinking." Interpretation (a publication of the National Park Service), Special Issue on Education, Summer 1995

The Taft Group, Taft Corporate Giving Directory.
Other funding directories are also available. Call 1-800-877-TAFT for a catalogue of publications.

This web site, developed by the Environmental Protection Agency, is a tutorial program on preparing successful competitive grant applications. Also includes examples of successful grants and a useful bibliography.


Cody, Sue Ann. "Historical Museums on the World Wide Web: An Exploration and Critical Analysis." The Public Historian, Vol. 19, No. 4 (Fall 1997).
This article explores how museums have used the World Wide Web, highlighting both the weaknesses and strengths of this medium.

Conroy, Pete. Collection-Based Loan Programs and Their Development. Jacksonville, AL: Center for Social Design, c. 1997.
This small publication provides suggestions and guidelines for developing "traveling trunks" and other resource materials for public school use.

Ecroyd, Donald H. Living History. Philadelphia, PA: Eastern National Park and Monument Association, 1992.
Detailed discussion of the uses and the abuses of living history.

Hall, Eleanor J. "Putting It All Together: How to Produce a Traveling Trunk." Guidelines and Workbook. St. Louis, MO: [National Park Service] Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, 1991.

Helpful step-by-step guidelines for preparing a traveling trunk, from identifying the theme to selecting the artifacts.

Hughes, Catherine. Museum Theater: Communicating with Visitors Through Drama. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1998.

Serrell, Beverly. Exhibit Labels: An Interpretive Approach. Walnut Grove, CA: AltaMira Press, 1996.

Straus, Susan. The Passionate Fact-Storytelling in Natural History and Cultural Interpretation. Fulcrum Publishing

Thomson, Ron. "A Different Path for Historic Walking Tours." History News Technical Leaflet #194. Nashville, TN: American Association for State and Local History, 1996
Step by step guidance in developing effective walking tours. Also contains useful examples. Trapp, Suzanne, Michael Gross, and Ron Zimmerman. Signs, Trails, and Wayside Exhibits. Stevens Point, WI: UW-SP Foundation Press, ca. 1991.
Excellent resource for those interested in exterior trails and signs. Solid advice on both writing and producing signs. Well illustrated and supported with examples.

The Web site for the National Park Service's Harpers Ferry Interpretive Design Center has a wealth of good information on media development.

Zehr, Jeffrey, Michael Gross, and Ron Zimmerman. Creating Environmental Publications. Stevens Point, WI: UW-SP Foundation Press, Inc., ca. 1990.
Covers both writing and design.


Armstrong, Thomas. Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1994.
Provides a practical overview of Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences Theory. Chapter 5, "MI and Curriculum Development" makes connections between theory and practice by listing intelligences, sample teaching materials, sample teaching activities, and instructional strategies.

Bednarz, Sarah Witham, et al. Geography for Life: National Geography Standards 1994. Washington, DC: National Geographic Society, 1994.
Outlines the six essential elements of geography education and identifies measurable standards for elementary, middle, and high school students. These standards have influenced and been incorporated in some state curriculum frameworks.

Bigge, M. L., and S. S. Shermis. Learning Theories for Teachers, 5th ed. New York: Harper Collins, 1992.

Bloom, Benjamin S. Taxonomy of Education Objectives, The Classification of Education Goals, Handbook #1: The Cognitive and Affective Domain. David McKay, 1984.
Bloom's Taxonomy describes the six stages of learning from knowledge to evaluation. This theory is the framework for developing higher-level thinking skills.

Burden, Paul R. Classroom Management and Discipline: Methods to Facilitate Cooperation and Instruction. New York: Longman, ca. 1995.
Chapter 3 divides models of discipline into three categories: low, medium, and high teacher control.

Cangelosi, James S. Classroom Management Strategies: Gaining and Maintaining Students' Cooperation, 2nd ed. New York: Longman, 1993.
Chapter 6: "Designing and Conducting Engaging Learning Activities" gives concrete examples of the connection between well-structured, appropriate activities and good management skills.

Educational Leadership. Journal of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Elias, M. J., et al. Promoting Social and Emotional Learning: Guidelines for Educators. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1997

Gardner, Howard. The Unschooled Mind: How Children Think and How Schools Should Teach. New York: Basic Books, ca. 1991.
Provides a look at learning that goes beyond rote learning to understanding. Gardner draws on recent research in cognitive development and cites examples from all disciplines and age groups. This is a very readable book.

Griswold, Robyn, and Audrey Rogers. Cooperative Learning Basics: Strategies and Lessons for U.S. History Teachers. Amawalk, NY: Golden Owl, ca. 1995.

Harmin, Merrill. Inspiring Active Learning: A Handbook for Teachers. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1994.

This short book gives practical strategies for engaging students in learning and offers a wide variety of types of activities.

Harper, Marilyn M. "Including Historic Places in the Social Studies Curriculum." ERIC Digest EDO-SO-97-13. Bloomington, IN: Clearinghouse for Social Studies/Social Science Education, 1997.
Discusses how teaching using historic places helps meet national curriculum standards for geography, history, and social studies.

Labinowicz, Ed. The Piaget Primer: Thinking, Learning, Teaching. Menlo Park, CA: Addison Wesley, 1980.

McCarthy, Bernice. "A Tale of Four Learners: 4MAT's Learning Styles." Educational Leadership, Vol. 54, No. 6 (March 1997), pp. 46-52.
Provides four case studies. Each illustrates a different learning style and the need to create diverse learning opportunities. This issue of the journal contains several other good articles on how children learn.

Metcalf, Fay, and Matthew Downey. Using Local History in the Classroom. Nashville, TN: American Association for State and Local History, 1982.
One of the first books published on this topic. Still useful.

National Center for History in the Schools. National Standards for History. Basic edition. Los Angeles: National Center for History in the Schools, 1996.
Identifies historical thinking skills and chronological periods that are significant for historical learning. Although these standards were initially controversial, they now have been adapted for incorporation into some state curriculum frameworks.

National Council for the Social Studies. Expectations of Excellence: Curriculum Standards for Social Studies, Bulletin 89. Washington, DC: National Council for the Social Studies, 1994.
Outlines the ten thematic strands of social studies and identifies competencies for elementary, middle, and high school students. These standards have been incorporated into several state curriculum frameworks.

Orlich, Donald C, et al. Teaching Strategies: A Guide to Better Instruction, 3rd. Ed. Lexington, MA: D. C. Heath, 1994.
Chapter 6: "Deciding How to Ask Questions" describes different types of questions, and provides strategies for conducting effective questioning sessions.

Patrick, John J. Heritage Education in the School Curriculum: Defining and Avoiding the Pitfalls. Washington, DC: National Trust for Historic Preservation Heritage Education Monograph, 1992.
Thoughtful analysis of the unconscious biases that can creep into educational materials based on historic places.

"Programming For School Groups: An Interpreter's Guide." Boston, MA: Division of Interpretation, North Atlantic Region, National Park Service, 1991.
Useful overview of issues to consider in developing educational materials. Includes extensive bibliography.

Schubert, William H. Curriculum: Perspectives, Paradigm, and Possibility. New York: Macmillan, 1986.
Chapter 2 outlines the historical context for curriculum and organizes curriculum into different schools of thought.

Social Education and Social Studies and the Young Learner. Journals of the National Council for the Social Studies, 3501 Newark Street, NW, Washington, DC 20016-3167.

Voris, Helen H., ed. Teach the Mind, Touch the Spirit: A Guide to Focused Field Trips. Chicago, IL: Field Museum of Natural History, 1986.

White, Charles D., and Kathleen Hunter. Teaching with Historic Places: A Curriculum Framework. Washington, DC: National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1995.
Describes theoretical basis for the use of historic place in teaching. Provides examples of typical curricula, discusses ways to create partnerships between historic places and schools, gives examples of lesson plans, field studies, and workshops.

The Heritage Education Network Web site, developed by Caneta Hankins at Middle Tennessee State University, contains a wealth of information on educational materials based on place. It also includes information on specific types of properties and many useful links to related Web sites.


Medlin, Nancy C. and Gary Machlis. "Focus Groups: A Tool for Evaluating Interpretive Services" (training manual and video tape). Cooperative Park Studies Unit, University of Idaho, 1991.
A step-by-step explanation of focus groups and how to use them to create targeted, effective interpretive programs. Medlin, Nancy C., Gary Machlis and Gene E. McKendry. Self Critiquing: A Tool for Interpretation. Cooperative Park Studies Unit, University of Idaho, c. 1993.

REFERENCE WORKS (available in many local libraries):

American Association for State and Local History, The Directory of Historical Societies and Agencies.

American Association of Museums, The Official Museum Directory.
This directory is an excellent source of information about museum organizations as well as contractors and suppliers. The directory's many lists include museums by area and by type, state museum organizations, state and regional arts organizations, humanities councils, and suppliers of products and services. It can be invaluable for non-museum people by identifying museum staff who are experienced in working with all kinds of media. The problems of producing a two-color brochure are the same whether it is for a walking tour or museum's calendar of events. The demands of planning and funding exterior signs are the same whether the topic is a historic bridge or the town's original post office.

Gale Research, Inc., The Gale Directory of Publication and Broadcast Media
This directory lists newspapers and radio and television stations by locality. It can be invaluable in planning publicity campaigns, as well as in identifying potential partners for audio-visual and other projects.

----, The Encyclopedia of Associations.
Helps identify organizations with members who have similar concerns, often potential partners.


Many organizations can provide assistance in developing interpretive programs. Often they conduct training sessions or hold conferences. They publish newsletters or even books that can be useful in developing interpretation. Some of the most active are listed below. Others can be located through the Encyclopedia of Associations (see above).

American Association of Museums (AAM)
AAM has a large and diverse membership, including a number of historic house museums. They publish a newsletter, Aviso, and a magazine, Museum News, in addition to The Official Museum Directory, discussed above.

American Association for State and Local History (AASLH)
The AASLH has been actively involved in the presentation of state and local history for over fifty years. Members include many small organizations operating on shoestring budgets. Publications are addressed specifically to the needs of this clientele. AASLH publishes the quarterly magazine History News, the monthly Dispatch newsletter, and a series of Technical Leaflets; sponsors workshops on interpretation, historic houses, and Making History with Your Community, an innovative training program designed to encourage and guide history institutions in involving the communities in which they are located in every aspect of their work. The AASLH also publishes the Directory of Historical Societies and Agencies. AASLH books, including the invaluable "Nearby History" series, are published by AltaMira Press in Walnut Grove, CA, and can be ordered through the AASLH Web site. Information on AASLH and other related publications is available on the AltaMira Web site: www.altamirapress.com/.

Association for Living Historical Farms & Agricultural Museums (ALHFAM)
care of Judith Sheridan, Treasurer
8774 Route 45 NW
North Bloomington, OH 44450
ALHFAM is an excellent source of information on living history, particularly as it relates to agriculture. Has committees on consultants, historic clothing, and historic replicas. ALHFAM holds both national and regional meetings.

Council for the Interpretation of Native Peoples
care of Dr. James A. Goss
Texas Tech University
Box 41012
Lubbock, TX 97409-1012
A special section of the National Association for Interpretation (q.v.), the Council acts as a clearinghouse, matching interpreters with appropriate Tribal contacts. The Council also publishes a newsletter, Storyteller.

Federal Preservation Officers (FPOs)
Historic properties that are owned by federal agencies are nominated to the National Register through Federal Preservation Officers (TPOs). FPOs administer the preservation program within their agency and provide public information, technical assistance, and education and training. A list of FPOs is available through the Advisory Council for Historic Preservation on the Web at the link above.

History Teaching Alliance (HTA)
Loretta Sullivan Lobes, Director
Carnegie Mellon University
Department of Hi
Baker Hall 240 Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
The Alliance works to encourage collaboratives between elementary and secondary school teachers, museum educators, public historians, and college and university faculties. It assists with designing collaboratives, drafting proposals, identifying potential funders, implementing programs and evaluating projects. It also serves as a clearinghouse for information about history collaboratives and is developing a handbook on how to establish and sustain a local collaborative.

National Alliance of Preservation Commissions (NAPC)
NAPC is the national organization for the hundreds of local preservation commissions across the country. The organization produces a newsletter, provides information on establishing local preservation districts and design guidelines, and conducts workshops.

National Association for Interpretation (NAI)

NAI is emerging as the most active national organization of interpreters. It publishes a magazine, Legacy, holds an annual conference with published proceedings, and offers employment assistance. Regional NAI organizations also publish newsletters and sponsor training and annual conferences. Both advertisers and members can provide information on interpretive products and services.

National Council on Public History (NCPH)
A membership organization of historians working outside an academic setting, NCPH seeks to bring together individuals, institutions, agencies, businesses, and academic programs. NCPH sponsors two quarterly publications: The Public Historian emphasizes original research and new viewpoints and provides a forum for addressing substantive and theoretical issues. Public History News offers articles, reports on legislative issues and other concerns, and informs readers about upcoming conferences, meetings, awards, and recent publications. The executive office of NCPH also hosts the PUBLHIST discussion list on the Internet.

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)
The National Endowment is a federal grant-making agency promoting humanities education.

National History Day
Cathy Gorn, Executive Director
0119 Cecil Hall
University of Maryland, College Park
College Park, MD 20742
Each year more than half a million middle and high school students nationwide conduct research using primary sources on topics of their choice, related to National History Day's annual theme. Students in 47 states and the District of Columbia present exhibits, performances, video or slide-tape documentaries and papers at a series of contests at the district, state, and national levels. Professional historians, museum educators, and teachers serve as judges at the contests. National History Day provides a whole network of possible partners and is always seeking local sponsors and judges. Helping students with projects is an excellent way to publicize the story of a historic place in your local education community.

National History Education Network (NHEN)
care of Loretta Sullivan Jobes
Carnegie Mellon University
Department of History
Baker Hall 240
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
NHEN is a coalition of organizations that serves as a clearinghouse for information related to the teaching of history. The Network also works actively to encourage history teaching and learning in community and cultural institutions, as well as schools. In addition to providing information about the education programs of its member organizations, the Network publishes a quarterly newsletter, The Network News, that describes materials and opportunities available to history and social studies teachers.

National Park Service
Office of Public Inquiries
Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, NW, Room 1013
Washington, DC 20240

The National Park Service is dedicated to conserving unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. All of the more than 370 units of the System provide some form of interpretation to park visitors; 221 tell stories that are primarily historical. Your local library or ParkNet, the Park Service Web site listed above, can provide information on any of the parks in the System or help you identify parks that are close to you or that address similar themes.

The National Register of Historic Places is also part of the National Park Service. See entry for the National Register (above) for more detailed information.

Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record (HABS/HAER) was established before the Second World War to record historic buildings in narrative descriptions, measured drawings, and photographs. A number of buildings listed in the National Register are also documented through very high quality photographs and measured drawings in the HABS/HAER collections, which are maintained at the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Further information on the programs can be obtained from HABS/HAER (202-343-1024) or the Prints and Photographs Division (202-707-6394).

The Interpretation Division of the Park Service has developed extensive training materials that cover interpretive planning, media, and evaluation, among other subjects. These materials can be accessed through the National Park Service Web site. Some are listed individually under the appropriate topic (above).

National Trust for Historic Preservation
The National Trust is a non-profit membership organization established by Congress to foster an appreciation of the diverse character and meaning of the American cultural heritage and to preserve and revitalize communities by saving America's historic environments. It offers a wide range of educational and interpretive programs through its national and regional offices and its 18 historic properties. It also works with more than 48,000 local and state preservation groups to interpret and protect their communities' historic and cultural resources. The Trust publishes Preservation magazine, as well as a series of technical publications on interpretation, heritage education, and other subjects.

Oral History Association
Baylor University
Post Office Box 97234
Waco, TX 76798-7234
This group can help use the memories of living witnesses to enrich interpretation. People still alive today can provide information unavailable from any other sources about places significant in the recent past, ranging from World War II to the Civil Right Movement.

State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPOs)
Most nominations to the National Register are made by the states through State Historic Preservation Officers. SHPOs also administer state programs of Federal assistance for historic preservation within the state and provide public information, technical assistance, and education and training. Their files often contain color slides, historic photographs, and other materials not submitted to the National Register. They maintain files on properties considered for listing but not nominated. Most states have created historic contexts that they use as the basis for evaluating historic properties. These can provide invaluable background information for interpretive programs. Many of the programs described in Chapter Six of this bulletin were produced with the support and often with the financial assistance of the SHPO in the state in which the historic place is located. The name, address, and telephone number of the SHPO in your state can be found on the web site for the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers: www.ncshpo.org. You can also obtain that information from the National Register at the address and telephone number listed above.

State/County/City Park Systems
Interpretation at this level varies widely in its scope and sophistication. Most historical properties have some on-going or seasonal interpretive program. A telephone call to parks near you might uncover some helpful advice and a useful partner eager to pool resources.

Reenactment Groups
Reenactment groups can be located through battlefield parks and other sites that interpret warfare. They can provide information on uniforms and weapons, as well as civilian clothing and social history. They may be potential partners if their interest coincides with the theme of an interpretation.

Tribal Preservation Officers (TPOs)
In 1996 the national historic preservation program entered a new era, as numerous Indian tribes were approved by the National Park Service to assume national program responsibilities on tribal lands, pursuant to Section 101(d) of the National Historic Preservation Act. Among the responsibilities assumed by these tribes are conducting historic property surveys, maintaining permanent inventories of historic properties, nominating properties to the National Register of Historic Places, and reviewing Federal agency undertakings pursuant to Section 106 of the Act.

Local organizations and historical societies
Local resources can be invaluable sources of potential partners, knowledgeable people, and archival collections of newspapers, photographs, and other materials that can enrich interpretation.

As the profession of interpretation matures, the number of free-lance interpretive specialists and consultants is growing. Services cover all aspects of interpretive planning, media development, training, and evaluation. Most consultants can assist with a variety of interpretive problems. Small organizations and properties with no paid staff might find that consulting is a cost-effective way to achieve professional results.

To find the right consultant, look first for someone who has experience with historic properties. Just as you might find a plumber or auto mechanic, contact others who have developed interpretive programs and ask for recommendations. Visit the public library and find The Official Museum Directory published by the American Association of Museums, discussed above. Look up other historic properties in your area, properties that deal with similar resources and themes, or turn directly to the section that lists product and service suppliers. Most consultants are members of organizations that address interpretation (see above) and some organizations maintain consultant registers.

When you have located one or more possible contractors, ask to see samples of their work and, of course, talk to references. It is important that you and the consultant see eye to eye on the nature of the project. It is always useful to get more than one bid, if you can. Ask for as detailed a proposal as possible, one that includes both products and costs.  

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