Ontario Re-Visited ~ Controversy ~ Historians, Artifacts and Accuracy
Mr. Will Baird, former manager of Fort Henry National Historic Site, talked to me today about one of my favorite topics … authenticity, accuracy and the controversy that may occur between true historians and re-enactors, re-enactments. Mr. Baird gave me a very enlightening view. Will tells us that the proper portrayal of facts is of utmost importance and should not be misinterpreted. This can happen easily, he tells me. While portraying traditions you can get caught up in the delivery of the message. The message, however, needs to be transferred effectively.
Mr. Baird goes on to say … that it not necessarily how the message is passed on, but, that it is passed on! Will states … people can get caught up a lot in their efforts to be 100% accurate. He himself states that this happens to him. He says that there can be cohesiveness’ between the reality of interpretation and true history enthusiasts.
Fort Henry’s core business is to preserve millions of dollars of artifacts. Will Baird says that it is Fort Henry’s goal to preserve the core, but, they can spread the word, pass on the historical messages by engaging people. It is very important to not tread on people emotions and to always respect the values of true historians. It is important to value their connection. There is a museum management program in place, of course, to prevent deterioration. However, Fort Henry’s new strategies are in place to encourage youth and visitors alike to embrace history. Mr. Baird says, and I agree, if you don’t share the history, how will it be preserved and learned by? Perhaps how you engage our ever-changing society and cultural world today is the key to the continuation of history. As I quote often, “Reflection of our past …. Hope for our Future”!
(excerpt from Judi ‘Scoop’ McWilliams, Inside Scoop Blog, featuring an interview with Will Baird, former manager of Fort Henry National Historic Site)
Original historic “Art Sketch” by Susan ‘Shadow’ Caron