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History Space

History Space: A Collaborative Effort 

History Space seeks to support the field of public history through education and demonstration. The work includes:

  • The production of high-quality living history programs and events, including traditional trade and craft demonstrations and workshops
  • Programs and seminars that assist practitioners of public history and inform the public about topics and issues in the field.

Why do it? What are the outcomes?

  • Demonstrate to practitioners of public history that history is not dead.
  • Begin to create a consensus in the field about what public history is and what best practice looks like.
  • Support the preservation of traditional trades and crafts.
  • Participate in a potentially national conversation about how we think about our past – the role of memories and heritage as perhaps distinct from history; how do we conceptualize and talk about facts and interpretation, how do we use historical understandings to understand today and work towards a better future.

Examples of the work included are reenactments and other forms of costumed interpretation and living history, the fostering of traditional crafts and trades through hosting visiting craftspeople who demonstrate for the public and conduct workshops for practitioners, and the Anarchists’ Lunch which asked four experts in the field to talk about issues around mission and audiences for historic sites.

Museums and historic sites are invited to join History Space. Partner institutions can leverage NHS resources and project mutual priorities, creating fresh, synergistic perspectives to shape the future of public history in New England and beyond.


Upcoming Events:

February 15, 2018 – A Medical Lecture with Dr. Hunter: A Living History Event

February 24, 2018 – Colonial Career Fair

In the mid-18th century, Newport was the fifth wealthiest city in colonial America. What jobs were people doing that helped the city become so successful? On Saturday February 24, 2018, from 10am-1pm, join the Newport Historical Society to learn how people made their living.

During this colonial career fair, costumed interpreters will represent different occupations that would have been present in this seaport. These jobs range from tradespeople like a printer, milliner and leather worker to merchants such as a toy seller and store owner, along with food serve jobs such as a baker, brewer, coffeehouse owner and tavern keeper.

This program takes place at the Colony House on Washington Square. Admission is free, donations are welcome.

March 22-23, 2018 – Myth, Memory & Heritage

A community conversation bringing together scholars and the public.

May 18, 2018 – Artisan Demonstration and Walking Tour

  • 10am-2pm: Open House at the Revolution House with a demonstration by joiner and planemaker Dan Lacroix. http://joynerplanemaker.org/
  • 11am: Tour of the Month led by Jeffrey Greene.

August 25, 2018 – Fifth Annual Living History Event: Life during the 1778 Battle of Rhode Island


Images from the Fourth Annual Living History Event, the 1777 British Occupation:

Photo credit: Caroline Goddard

Click here to view the full image gallery for the 1777 British Occupation event


Join us

We invite other collaborators throughout the region to join us as we build History Space as a network of forward-thinking practitioners who want to create sustainable, robust public history. To learn more, please watch this space, and email Ruth Taylor, Elizabeth Sulock or Taylor Stoermer


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