Heritage Interpretation

Heritage interpretation ?!


Heritage interpretation is a vital part of how people experience the places they visit, whether they be towns or countryside, historic sites, monuments or museums. Good heritage interpretation will leave visitors feeling connected, inspired and alive with curiosity and enable better understanding of a site or collection.

Interpretation is about explaining complexity. It is a methodical approach aimed at revealing the special features of an area or region to visitors. Heritage interpretation is about uncovering, revealing hidden knowledge and hidden meaning behind the surface of natural or cultural heritage sites. A central idea is used to link facts and anecdotes surrounding a place, turning them into a coherent story. 

This story, however, is not just about anything. Its main requirement is that it relates to something on the site, a phenomenon that can be directly perceived. Encountering original objects will help visitors to establish a connection to the site. A successful encounter may provoke their curiosity, stimulate their imagination, or encourage them to think or behave in specific ways.

Good site interpretation will speak to visitors, relating to their experiences and taking account of their interests. The questions visitors might ask, their desires and needs are a focal point of heritage interpretation. Interpreters are highly skilled and knowledgeable communicators who use a variety of techniques to reveal a place and deliver messages about natural or cultural history. Interpretation is informal, fun and memorable.

It is most important, however, that the message reaches visitors minds and hearts. Good communication skills are therefore essential in heritage interpretation.

interpretation bridges the gap

Imagine heritage interpretation as a bridge. Visitors crossing the bridge will discover hidden secrets of original objects, which can lead to greater satisfaction and enjoyment. This in turn will render visitors more likely to return to a place, or at least encourage them to tell their friends and family about it.




by Elke Schliermann-Kraus last modified 23.09.2008 10:52