Living History Bibliography

Since I am interested in the culture behind living history and not just in reenacting myself, I am determined to read all the books and articles about living history. At least all of them out there that I can find. Actually I have not found that many so I’ve decided to list them all here. If I have missed any I would like to know about it, so hopefully y’all can let me know if you have read one that is not on this list.

I will be updating this entry with links as I put up my reviews, so the ones with the titles all link-y will be ones I’ve got reviews posted on already. 

Based around museum programs:

Time Machines: The World of Living History by Jay Anderson, 1984
Notes: This one does not seem to be very available. Luckily Anderson’s Living History reader is easier to find, if not exactly in print

Living History Reader: Museums by Jay Anderson, 1991?
Notes: Jay Anderson was the first person to write seriously about LH and reenacting. I skimmed through this book (okay, I read it cover to cover, but very quickly) in the fall of 2008 when I was taking graduate courses in Museum Studies. I’ve got to read it again before writing a thorough review.

Performing the Pilgrims: A Study of Ethnohistorical Role-Playing at Plimoth Plantation by Stephen Eddy Snow, 1993
Notes: I picked up a copy of this book at a discount in the Plimoth Plantation gift shop back in 2004 when I was working in the gardens there for a summer. It was fantastic to see someone actually writing in an intellectual manner on Living History, even if the writing itself seemed a little awkward. I promise I‘ll dig this out and do it justice, I know it made me think of the 60s reform in history in a whole new way.

The New History in an Old Museum: Creating the Past at Colonial Williamsburg by Richard Handler & Eric Gable, 1997
Notes: I’ve never read it, but I need to. It is on the list, I’m not sure how close to the top of the list it is though.

Museum Theatre: Communicating with Visitors Through Drama by Catherine Hughes, 1998?
Notes: Maybe this is not exactly on the topic of Living History, but there are quite a few relevant chapters. Besides, I bought it during that Semester in Museum Grad School and have skimmed it once, so I might as well review it properly, right?

Case Studies in Museum, Zoo, and Aquarium Theater eds. Mary Lister, Laura Maloney, Catherine Hughes, 1999
Notes: Same as above: not only on the topic of Living History, but still some chapters could be very useful.

Living History Museums: Undoing History through Performance by Scott Magelssen, Published 2007
Notes: This book came out just before my “Semester in grad school” and I did one of my final papers based on one of Magelsson’s theories about authenticity. I remember sputtering through the whole thing (Stephen remembers me sputtering through it too) but I do not remember enough to do a whole review on it. Anyone know if it is available in audiobook format?

Open Air Museums: The history and future of a visionary idea by Sten Rentzhog, 2007
Notes: This tome of a book is fairly encyclopedic on the history of European LH museums, with some bits on American museums as well. I have only recently seen a copy, it is not available through Amazon, only here. Though I would like to read it, this is not the top of my list.

Books teaching the art of Living History

Interpreting Our Heritage by Freeman Tilden 50th anniversary edition, 2007
Notes: This book is well over 50 years old, but it is still the best place to start. Not specifically for costumed people, but great for anyone who interacts with the public in an educational setting.

Past into Present: Effective Techniques for First-Person Historical Interpretation by Stacy F. Roth 1998
Notes: This is the book that most of us turn to when looking for a book on what we do. Read my full review here.

The Art of Play: The New Genre of Interactive Theatre by Gary Izzo, 1997
Notes: All of my Renaissance Faire training was based around the works of Garry Izzo, but I have not read these books cover to cover. I have dipped into them for training purposes, but I really should sit down with them in a more comprehensive fashion.

Acting Interactive Theatre : A Handbook by Gary Izzo, 1998
Notes: Stephen owns both of these books, but we have no idea which bookshelf they ended up on. I’m going to have to track them down, one of these days.

Telling History: a manual for performers and presenters of first-person narratives by Joyce M. Thierer, 2009
Notes: A book specifically for those doing their own presentation-length performances, still worth the read. My full review is here.

Easy Street: A Guide For Players In Improvised Interactive Environmental Performance, Walkaround Entertainment, And First-Person Historical Interpretation by Ann-Elizabeth Shapera, 2012
Notes: This book is mostly written for Renaissance Faire Reenactors, but I highly recommend it for anyone interacting with the public. My whole review is here.

Civil War:

Notes:  I finally got through this book! and have reviewed it here.

Civil War Woodworking by A. J. Hamler, 2009
Notes:  Folo reviewed the book over at his blog Anglo-Scandanavian Chronicles, now I must add it to my list of books to read!

Academics on Reenacting:
2004 issue of the academic journal Criticism and the 2007 issue of the academic journal Rethinking History
Notes: Back in 2007 I discovered the existence of these two journal issues devoted entirely to reenacting while hanging out one evening in a college library (yes, I hang out in college libraries, whenever I get the chance.) But they were not available yet in electronic copies, and I did not have a card at that library or any other academic library through which I could order the hard copies. By the time I hit my “Semester in grad school” there were electronic copies, and I had a library card so I downloaded all the articles as PDFs and I’ve been holding on to them ever since. I’ve been trying to read them, but not trying too hard. I really will knuckle down and do it one of these days.

Historical Reenactment: From Realism to the Affective Turn edited by Iain McCalman and Paul A. Pickering, 2010
Notes: This might be based on some of the same stuff as the Criticism journal, but maybe not. I borrowed this book through Inter Library Loan but it is a thick academic text. I did not really get into it before I had to return it. It is still on my list as an important read though.

 Reflections on Reenacting: Seeking an Authentic Past in a Specious Present by D.A. Saguto, CW Journal, Winter 2011
Notes: Chock full of historical information and present information (like the number of current Civil War reenactors? I MUST find out where the author got that statistic.) Worth the read, I wish it was twice as long.

War Games: Inside the World of Twentieth-Century War Reenactors by Jenny Thompson, 2004
Notes: This was Included in the further reading section of the Colonial Williamsburg article above. I had not heard of it before, but I look forward to reading it.

Living History in a broader sense

Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy By Barbara Ehrenreich, 2006
Notes: Why is a book not about Living History on a Living History Bibliography? Read my review by clicking on the title to find out.

The Same Ax, Twice: Restoration and Renewal in a Throwaway Age by Howard Mansfield, 2001
Notes: Each chapter is a different way of bringing history into the modern world covering recreations, reenactments, pageants, and a lot more. Full review here.

Reenactors on Reenacting

The Building of The Green Valley: A Reconstruction of an Early 17th Century Rural Landscape By Stuart Peachey, 2006

Notes: Read my review by clicking on the title.

On His Majesty's Service, produced and directed by Maurice Depas, 2010
Notes: This is a documentary I picked up at the last Reenactorfest (Feb. 2011.) Stephen and I have watched it, but I think I want to watch it a second time before I review it.

General Public on Reenacting

Man of War: My Adventures in the World of Historical Reenactment by Charlie Schroeder, 2012
Notes: An account of a guy who has never done reenacting trying to jump off the deep end. My review here.

Notes: I’ve got a review up already, click on the title to see my review.

Picture Books

Living History, Brassey's Master Class by Philipp J.C. Elliot-Wright, 2000
Notes: This appears to be a book to help new reenactors pick a timeperiod, and portray it accurately. It is out of England, so focuses on English history, tons of good pictures!

Living The Past by Val Horsler, 2003
Notes: This books is also out of England. I bought it for Stephen many years ago, and love pulling it back off the shelf but for some reason I had not put it on the list of books about Living History. It is definitely about Living History, even if it is more a tourist book than an academic one.

SCA Specific Books

Medieval Fantasy as Performance: The Society for Creative Anachronism and the Current Middle Ages By Michael A. Cramer, 2010
Notes: I stumbled across this during my research for this list. No idea if it is any good.

Notes: I read this over the winter and reviewed it for the Podcast, this is one of the few that I’ve already reviewed (click on the title to see my review.)

Did I miss any? What else is out there on the Living History bookshelf?
ALHFAM has a good Bibliography too, it is here.
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