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The main building at Cliveden, constructed 1763–67. Courtesy of Cliveden. 

Questions of Practice: Cliveden's Libbie Hawes on Historical Interpretation for Contemporary Audiences

Questions of Practice: Cliveden’s Libbie Hawes on Historical Interpretation for Contemporary Audiences

Cliveden of the National Trust’s preservation director Libbie Hawes speaks with us about the process of interpreting historical sites for contemporary audiences. “As we think more about the contemporary issues of diversity…and socio-economic class, it’s natural that our culture responds by saying… ‘how did we get here?’” she says.

Cliveden’s ongoing Center-funded project Cliveden’s Living Kitchens reinterprets the house museum’s history through the exploration of its 1767 and 1959 kitchens and the experiences of those who were enslaved and in service at the historic Germantown mansion.

Cliveden’s Libbie Hawes on historical interpretation for contemporary audiences. Filmed at The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage on February 3, 2016.

Libbie Hawes is the preservation director at Cliveden of the National Trust in Historic Germantown, and has a special interest in traditional building practices and urban development in the Philadelphia and Delaware Valley region. She previously served as the grounds coordinator at Cliveden and program assistant at the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Northeast Field Office. Hawes received her MA in historic preservation from the University of Pennsylvania.