Civil War Era Studies
What do our historic sites and museums offer to visitors? More importantly, what should we strive to offer? Right now, I think many of our historic sites offer two different things: a variety of experiences and access to a wealth of information. Sites like Antietam offer a number of different experiences – from taking a tour over the battleground where so many fought and died, to driving through the battlefield at night seeing thousands of luminaries, each one representing a life. Our historic sites also offer access to knowledge and information – many times through those experiences they offer. Continuing to use Antietam as our guide, this access to information includes things such as a talk with a park ranger who has studied the battle for many years, to a movie that explains the battle complete with maps and reenactments in the park theater. [excerpt]
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Dinkelaker, Jacob, "Experience + Interaction" (2011). Interpreting the Civil War: Connecting the Civil War to the American Public. 161.