Linking the Present with the Past through Intangible Heritage in History Museums

Yerkovich, Sally (2006) Linking the Present with the Past through Intangible Heritage in History Museums. The International Journal of Intangible Heritage, 1. pp. 44-52. ISSN 1975-3586

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This paper will discuss how the New Jersey Historical Society has used the strategy of documenting intangible heritage in its exhibitions to engage both audiences who understand the mission of an historical museum and those who have not grown up with history and historical institutions as part of their lives. Intangible culture also personalizes popular and mass cultural items, animates exhibitions, and creates links between contemporary life and the state’s past for diverse urban audiences. From Teenage New Jersey, 1942-1975 Dining In, Dining Out, What Exit? New Jersey and Its Turnpike to New Jersey Remembers September 11, 2001, exhibitions have presented dance, specialized language/jargon, jokes, eating practices, local traditions and lore, stories, songs, and memories along with material culture. This paper examines how this has altered our presentation of history and helped diversify our audiences as well as having had implications for staffing, collecting and collections maintenance. Finally, this device has allowed us to form what might be viewed as an ‘identity repository’ – a repository of documents that speak not only to the values, practices and identity of distinct ethnic groups but also to what it is that constitutes a New Jerseyan.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: museums, history museums, intangible cultural heritage
Subjects: E Museology > 03 Museum
B Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) > 01 Generalities
Depositing User: Mr Jose García Vicente
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2024 23:12
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2024 23:12

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