Program on interpreters training presented at historical society
January 24, 2013 by Marla Blair, Bringing history to life is not impossible when trained interpreters relate to visitors with stories and time-period conversation. Most of us have seen interpreters at Postville Courthouse, New Salem, the Davis mansion or other historic sites. Being an interpreter isn’t magic, but it takes practice and special skills to make it work.
Anne Mosley, Assistant Director, Lincoln Heritage Museum at Lincoln College, presented a program Monday night at the Logan County Genealogical and Historical Society on upcoming interpreters training. The opportunity could prepare several people to be interpreters for local, state or nation-wide historic sites.
According to Ms. Mosley, the opportunity to learn skills of an interpreter will soon be available at Lincoln College. The concept was first introduced to LC fine arts students and signatures of interested individuals filled three sign-in sheets. The college is developing what it hopes will become a pilot program for certification with the National Association of Interpretation. The NAI does not currently have a certified training program.
Students will be able to take the training as a credited course. By the fall of 2013, community members may be able to register for the program through Lincoln College‘s fine arts department. After completion of the course, individuals would be a Certified Interpretive Guide (CIG), recognized internationally and qualified to volunteer or work around the world at historic sites, parks and other locations of significance.
“Interpreters teach through interpretations,” Ms. Mosley stated. “They teach about lifestyles and social settings we are not familiar with today. They dress and act the part of someone who would naturally be in a particular place and time.
“Guides speak in the third person, giving tours and offering information, but not dressing or speaking in the time period of the site. There are guides at Lincoln’s Home in Springfield, but interpreters at New Salem.”
Maybe after several students and community members have completed the class, there will be interpreters walking the streets of downtown Lincoln, Middletown, Emden and other Logan County communities, sharing history with visitors and making the past come alive.