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ALHFAM: The impact of history

Courtesy Barrington Living History Farm

What exactly is living history? The Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums (ALHFAM) defines it thus:

–  Within ALHFAM, living history is taken to mean just this, the efforts of history museums, historical societies and other educational organizations to truly engage the public with the impact of history on their lives today.

– This is accomplished using historic objects and environs and appropriate re-creations to tell the stories of the people who used those objects. In the effort to contextualize, some sites try to re-create a particular time and place in the past, ignoring the intrusions of the present.

– The missions of other living history sites make it difficult to be so exacting, but the effort to bring history to life is evident perhaps in living animals and plants, in staff performing historic work or trades and in the effort made to provide an environment rich in artifacts that focus attention on life in past times.

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