One for the books : a case study of the interpretation of personal libraries in historic house museums.

Access rights
Worldwide access
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title

Libraries in historic house museums often suffer identity confusion due to the varying interpretational methods of libraries and museums. Eighteenth century prodigy house museums in particular include large libraries that, although they often reveal a great deal about their owners’ character and life, are often passed over in museum interpretation. This is often due to the fact that books are not consistently recognized as objects of material culture among museum professionals. Eighteenth century print culture, however, suggests that books from this time period should be considered authentic signposts for both public and private behavior. Whether or not a historic house museum chooses to acknowledge these signposts is often determined by each institution’s respective mission, audience and resources.

George Washington. Thomas Jefferson. James Madison. Historic house museums. Personal library. Virginia.