Historic house museums

Historic house museums are houses that have been transformed into museums. Historic furnishings may be displayed in a way that reflects their original placement and usage in a home. Historic house museums are held to a variety of standards, including those of the International Council of Museums.


Historic house museums differ a great deal one from another. Some are organized around the person who lived there or the social role the house had. Consequently, they may contain objects that belonged to the inhabitants. This approach is mostly concerned with "authenticity". Other historic house museums may be partially or completely reconstructed in order to tell the story of a particular area, kind of life or period in time. This approach is guided by the "narrative" of the people who lived there. In each kind visitors learn about what they are seeing.

Important to all historic house museums, however, is that the structure once was intended, or at least used, as a place of human habitation, and that the contents of the structure, now a museum, were intended for such places. Thus, if historic structures, though once homes, do not principally contain objects originally intended for the home AND have them arranged in a home-like ambiance, but instead have such objects arranged like a more typical museum, or principally contain displays and objects not originally intended for a home, then they should not be called "historic house museums."

External links

* [http://www.museobagattivalsecchi.org/english/icom/demhist.htm DEMHIST] — ICOM's International Committee for Historic House Museums
* [http://index.museum/generic.php?domain=house.museum house.museum] — a list of house museums
* [http://www.museobagattivalsecchi.org/english/icom/case.htm Collectors' house museums] — a list of collectors' historic house museums
* [http://www.historichousetrust.org/item_list.php NYC Historic House Trust]

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