Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)




Danielle Moretti-Langholtz

Committee Members

Andrea Wright

Julie Richter


Colonial Williamsburg is a living history museum in Virginia that hosts a large program interpreting and preserving eighteenth-century craft methods. Using ethnographic research methods, this paper evaluates the value of the historic trades program as a means of preserving otherwise lost skills, producing knowledge, and engaging the public in history. I argue that historic trades interpretation connects with audiences more than traditional exhibits, particularly highlighting specialized interpretation, on-the-job discoveries, representation of identity groups, and the ability to utilize online video platforms. Additionally, I address the divide between modern consumption and production, and how visitors can find historic trades that were once critical to everyday life to be novel.