Treasure Houses of the Mind: Public Places as Teachers of History
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The following manuscript explores the means by which historic sites act as teachers of history. Historic sites occupy an important role in both public space and collective culture. Such places serve as “hyperreal” objects through which a collective historic memory is retained and transferred. The public historians who are responsible for the management of such places must balance the competing agendas of providing access to reliable historical information with prevailing political and cultural interpretations of the past. This manuscript provides a pedagogical study of the interplay of historian, historic site, and the public in order to propose a theoretical model for how these relationships create and transmit knowledge.