Intangible Heritage Preservation Through the Use of Living History

by Sara Feltner

Institution: Savannah College of Art and Design
Year: 2016
Keywords: Thesis (M.F.A.)  – Historic Preservation; Savannah College of Art and Design  – Department of Historic Preservation
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2125372
Full text PDF: http://ecollections.scad.edu/iii/cpro/DigitalItemViewPage.external?sp=1003252


'The public views history though its tangible elements: artifacts, structures, and the objects that people leave behind. These tangible things are what people see. What people cannot see are the intangible parts of history: the skills they use, the traditions they practice, and the way people live their lives. This is intangible heritage. The use of living history as a tool to preserve intangible heritage in historic environments is widely ignored within the preservation field. While the role of living history as interpretation is well known, the relationship between a historical environment, intangible heritage preservation, and the living historian is often overlooked. The connection between historical preservation and living history, and how the living history subculture can enable the preservation of intangible heritage, are explored through research, interviews, and case studies of various living history sites. Additionally, issues in authenticity and historic context are addressed. Living history can preserve the skills and traditions of the past as well as facilitating instruction of intangible heritage practices. Living history provides the means through which intangible heritage practices can grow and change when such skills would otherwise be forgotten, and can inspire a deeper understanding of historic sites.' Keywords: intangible cultural heritage, living history, historic site interpretation, open-air museum, folk park, historic skill education, preservation subculture Advisors/Committee Members: CHAIR: Pinkerton, Connie, Janson, James, Browning-Mullis, Shannon.