History Camp Historic Site Tours FAQs
What is a History Camp Historic Site Tour?
History Camp Historic Site Tours are a fun and engaging part of our in-person History Camps where we regularly invite historic sites to reach out to History Camp attendees on the days surrounding the History Camps. Past in-person tours have included National Park Service Historic Sites; historic homes and historic districts; theatrical and music performances; museum, library, and archive tours; and general walking tours; among others.
This year, being all online, we are offering Historic Site Tours to History Camp attendees in a virtual format.
While this is more technically challenging than a in-person tour, the reach to people across the country and around the world will be much greater and give you the opportunity to engage people with your site’s story.
Additionally, you can let your guides, curators, docents, archivists, reenactors, and researchers shine—and provide more in-depth content than they would for general audiences.
What makes a great Historic Site Tour?
- Focus on the history. Unlike school groups and general audiences, you will be presenting to adults who LOVE history and may already know a bit about your site, the time period, the people and events involved, etc.
- Provide a select overview of your site—as well as what makes it unique. Think of the tour as a “visitors’ preview” for your site. You do not need to include the entire regular tour and a virtual will never take the place of an in-person tour (as if it could!). We encourage sites to focus on the ”don’t miss” aspects of what makes your site unique, how it interconnects with the broader area and historical events, and why viewers must come and see you in-person on their next history road trip.
- Invite “living history” reenactors to participate. Living history days are always great events but they are almost always limited to the number of days they can happen, the weather, how many people they can accommodate, local and available audiences, etc. and sometimes the most interesting bits cannot be easily witnessed by the viewers. For example, the sequence of searching, swabbing, charging, ramming, pricking, priming, and firing a Revolutionary War cannon is not something you can invite your in-person audiences to get close to—but with a virtual tour you can capture all the details so your audience can clearly see it all up close.
- Set the scene. Use historical images, music, maps, timelines, film clips, live action sequences, drone footage, and more to tell you site’s story. Do not be afraid to go deep with historical detail—for History Camp audiences, the more historical detail, the better!
- Include an exclusive “behind-the-scenes” segment. One of the benefits of a virtual tour is that you can bring visitors to site-sensitive places where in-person tours cannot go. Previous Historic Site Tours have recorded in the spires as well as the root cellars of buildings, scientific laboratories, forges, even crypts!
How is the Historic Site Tour created?
- Historic Site Tours are created and edited by the historic site. History Camp can offer some basic guidance, but the content, recording, editing, and general production is produced by the historic site.
- The recorded segment should be no more than 50 minutes in duration.
- We also ask for a <1 minute “promo” video which we will use to publicize the tour.
- Some recent site tours have been shot entirely on a smartphone and edited in open-source editing software. The video quality on modern smartphones is amazing and much easier to use than traditional video equipment. (And if you do not know how to do this yourself, ask a teenager!)
- Accepted Historic Site Tours will need to deliver their recorded tour by June 25. History Camp will review it for length and content and, if there are technical, clarity, or editing problems, may make minor suggestions.
- During History Camp, representatives from your site will be able to answer audience questions in the chat.
Where will the Historic Site Tour be posted?
- History Camp will be streamed to paid attendees of History Camp America 2021 and made available for rebroadcast for History Camp registrants and members of The Pursuit of History. These firewall controls will help protect your content. Conference fees support various technology costs, software licenses, and production support—as well as enable us to produce more educational events.
- Videos are hosted on the History Camp America event platform and are accessible by History Camp registrants and members of The Pursuit of History for one year post the event. After this time, they will be made available to the public.
- If the historic site wishes to post their video online, we ask that they wait two months past the History Camp America event to do so (September 10, 2021).
- Promotional uses. History Camp® and The Pursuit of History™ retains the right to use presentations, either whole or in parts, in related promotional materials in any media and for any term. Note that media will only be used by and for History Camp and The Pursuit of History and will not be resold.
Can I see samples of some Historic Site Tours?
Yes! In 2020, we tested this model (with great success) at America’s Summer Roadtrip—where we offered 12 Historic Site Tours over one jam-packed Saturday. This format is our model for the History Camp Historic Site Tours.
The feedback from these tours—from the viewing public as well as the site managers—was great. Although we were in deep lock-down at the time, many historic sites reported significant upticks in website traffic and interest in their sites.
Are there any other terms?
Just some that enforce our content and quality guidelines (and which we have never had to enforce, but need to state nonetheless), including: We reserve the right to interrupt or terminate sessions/media if they violate our content guidelines. Some sessions/media may not be archived. Sessions/media may be edited.
If your site tour may be better suited for a History Camp session or one of our weekly History Camp Discussions, use the email below to reach out.