Thought for the Day

Henry House at Manassas

“We who work for historical agencies do not own the sites. We are trustees for them. They are ours to restore and manage and interpret because earlier generations saved them for us; so we, in turn, have an obligation to future generations who have an equal claim to that heritage. Our trusteeship places upon us an ethical commitment to accuracy in restoration, truth in interpretation, and protection for the next generation. The financial support we receive from the public in gifts, admission fees, tax exemptions and government payments reinforces our obligations to the people. We do not meet that obligation just by saving and restoring a historic site. Only when the essential meaning of the site and of the people and events associated with it is communicated to the visitor can we truly say that we have met our responsibilities.”

— from William Alderson and Shirley Payne Low’s Interpretation of Historic Sites (1976)


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