What is heritage interpretation?

Heritage interpretation is a structured approach to non-formal learning specialised in communicating significant ideas about a place to people on leisure. It establishes a link between visitors and what they can discover at heritage sites such as a nature reserve, a historic site or a museum.

Good interpretation is always based on first-hand experience and often on personal contact with staff on site. Interpretation does four things:

  • it provokes visitors’ curiosity and interest in what may be an unfamiliar topic or theme
  • it relates the site or objects to visitors' own knowledge, experience, background and values,
  • it reveals the significance of the site or objects which visitors can understand and appreciate, and
  • it helps people to enjoy a satisfying experience.

Interpretation is a form of storytelling

Read more about its benefits for management and conservation as well as for visitors.

Grasp the subject,
the words will follow.

Cato the Elder

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