The Living History Anthology brings together twenty-six practical essays on the craft of establishing and running living history museums. Contributions cover all aspects of developing and running a living history site.

Including contributions on strategic planning, human resource management, research programs, collection policies, and engagement with varied audiences, including indigenous groups, the book demonstrates how to approach such tasks from a living history perspective. Topics unique to the sector, such as re-enactment, historic trade crafts, and working with machinery and livestock, are also covered. Each essay is briefly introduced and contextualized by the editors, while the collection is bookended by a new foreword and afterword from Debra A. Reid, and an introduction from the editors.

Representing the collective wisdom of the Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums (ALHFAM) members across the decades, The Living History Anthology provides a valuable resource for all living history practitioners. It should also be of interest to students and scholars studying living history.

part I|7 pages


part II|20 pages

Defining Living History

chapter 1|4 pages

Revisiting Living History

A Business, An Art, A Pleasure, An Education

chapter 2|12 pages

Living Historical Farms

part III|30 pages

Planning and Managing

chapter 5|8 pages

Friends Indeed

Creating a Successful Museum Volunteer Program

chapter 6|7 pages

Planning Living History Programs and Facilities

Seven Areas of Concern

part IV|60 pages

Teaching and Learning

chapter 7|4 pages

Choosing Your Method

Strengths and Weaknesses of Interpretive Techniques

chapter 8|8 pages

Reconnecting with Agriculture

Practical Approaches

chapter 9|7 pages

First-Person Interpretation

Perspectives on Interpreter-Visitor Communication

chapter 10|5 pages

Historically Correct Trade Craft Presentations

Are They Possible? A Question to Provoke More Questions

chapter 11|12 pages

Special Events and Their Impact on Museums

The Eleven Commandments of Public Programs

chapter 13|14 pages

Using Their Voices

Engaging Cultural Communities in Living History

part V|32 pages

Living Collections

chapter 14|7 pages

Breeds and Seeds

chapter 16|13 pages

Living with Livestock

A Primer on Livestock Program Planning and Implementation

part VI|66 pages

Researching and Collecting

chapter 18|7 pages

Tier Levels and Collections Management

Adapting Traditional Museum Approaches for Historic Site Use

chapter 19|5 pages

The Right Stuff

How to Get It

chapter 20|8 pages

Attitudes Toward Machinery

chapter 22|9 pages

Serving Two Masters

Accurate Costuming for Small Historic Sites

chapter 23|7 pages


Forethought in Interpretation

part VII|14 pages

Rewards and Challenges

chapter 25|5 pages

Living Things Grow and Evolve

The Evolution and Expansion of Living History

chapter 26|4 pages

Sowbelly and Seedbanks

The Living History Museum as a Process Repository

part VIII|8 pages

Further Reading

chapter |6 pages

Living History Highpoints

A Bibliographic Essay