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Title:The Place of the Past: Images of an Outdoor History Museum
Author(s):Enscore, Susan Irene
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Jakle, John A.
Department / Program:Geography
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:Hundreds of outdoor history museums dot the American landscape and annually draw millions of visitors through their gates. Their attributes as a unique place type, as well as the corresponding place images of them held by their visitors, are of particular importance in understanding their spatial, historical, and social significance in the human landscape. Just as place images function as models of reality, outdoor history museums function as models of past times and places.
Relevant attributes of outdoor history museums are explored through an investigation of place image. A national survey of museums provided locational information. Administrators, interpreters, and visitors were surveyed at Conner Prairie, a museum in Noblesville, Indiana, to determine the content of place images, the effects on images of direct experience, the impact of museum interpretation styles, and criteria for judgements of authenticity.
Primary results include the spatial and temporal distribution patterns of museums across the country, the principal constructs, evaluative dimensions, and physical elements that combine to create place image, and the analysis of four sample place images of Conner Prairie that are compatible yet unique. The strength of first-person interpretation impacted the images defined after the museum experience, as did the role of the respondent. The concept of authenticity emerged as a primary dimension of Conner Prairie imagery, and determinations of authenticity were based on both verification and verisimilitude.
Issue Date:1993
Description:348 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1993.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI9411613
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-17
Date Deposited:1993

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