Moseley is crafting the site interpretation class and will teach it.
The new class will prepare students to step into the persona of a
19th-century citizen at a historic site, perhaps a museum or a park,
and interact with visitors. The class will be part of the new
four-year bachelor's degree program in the Lincoln College Fine Arts
After completing the class, a student will be a certified site
interpreter through the National Association of Interpreters, a
national nonprofit. The certification is called a certified
interpretive guide. Ann Moseley is a certified interpretive guide
and has also achieved advanced certification as an interpretative
trainer through NAI. This latter training allows her to teach the
The initial assignment in the class will be the choice of a
citizen to portray from Abraham Lincoln's era. Once a person is
selected, research will be necessary, involving such diverse
resources as census records, diaries and newspaper articles from the
time period -- anything that will help flesh out the ordinary
citizen so someone from the 21st century can step into their shoes.
Additional topics will involve proper 19th-century language,
appropriate attire to the person's station in life and even an
Site interpreters who slip into a first-person role, that is, one
who will stay in character with no reference to another time, will
learn how to react to tourist questions and still remain in
character. Understandably, for a first-person interpreter to remain
in their role and time period, it will require extensive research
into the history of the era.
Moseley is excited about the prospects of teaching the class. "I
have a passion for the mid-19th century," she said, "and the guide
class will be a way to share it with the community."
The class will be available to LC students as well as members of
the community. Historians will be invited to lecture on the time
period being studied.
"A site interpreter makes history come alive," said Moseley. She
speaks from experience, having portrayed an acquaintance of Mary
Todd Lincoln at various historic sites in Springfield. Her husband,
Mike, is also a site interpreter, having portrayed a Springfield
resident who was employed as a porter at the Old State Capital
during Lincoln's time there as a lawyer.
[to top of second column]
Moseley also discussed the fall 2013 move of the Lincoln Heritage
Museum from the McKinstry Library building to its new space in the
Lincoln Center on the Lincoln College campus.
The much larger two-level area will allow the display of
additional articles from the museum's collection than is possible
now. There will also be stages that will allow living history
presentations about Abraham Lincoln's time in central Illinois. It
is hoped that the enhanced area will allow and encourage more
community involvement in the museum.
As Moseley pointed out, "Abraham Lincoln loved to study history.
He thought it was important to learn from the past."
The Lincoln College certified interpretive guide class will start
in the fall semester of 2013. For more information, contact Ann
Moseley at the Lincoln Heritage Museum on the Lincoln College
For volunteer opportunities at the museum, contact Moseley or Ron
Keller, museum director.
Keller, in a moment of unbridled enthusiasm said, "The Lincoln
Heritage Museum rocks!" That sort of ebullience makes the museum a
must visit for Lincoln residents and visitors to central Illinois,
where Abraham Lincoln walked.
[By CURT FOX]
Genealogical & Historical Society
Lincoln Heritage Museum