A wider view from Tryon Palace

The New York Times has a piece on the recently constructed North Carolina History Center at New Bern.  It’s part of the same site that includes a reconstruction of Gov. William Tryon’s impressive eighteenth-century house.

What’s cool about the article is that it uses the center’s exhibits to explain some of the ways historic interpretation has changed over the years.  Rather than focusing exclusively on Tryon and those who sat with him atop the pinnacle of colonial society, the exhibits widen things out a little by examining the everyday lives of ordinary North Carolinians, the ways the environment shaped human history, and so on.  And, of course, the center employs all the latest gadgets in order to engage in its audience.

Check out the link to the center’s website in the article, too; it takes you to a short video where you can get a taste of the exhibits.

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2 Comments

Filed under Colonial America, Museums and Historic Sites

2 responses to “A wider view from Tryon Palace

  1. This is some really great coverage for Tryon Palace, which nearly had its budget slashed so far as to endanger a complete shutdown earlier this year. However, Tryon Palace has placed so much emphasis on the new NC History Center that they’ve begin scaling back on their actual on the ground interpretation. Case in point, they laid off their blacksmith and closed his shop. He was the only Palace employee who was engaged in costumed, period trade demonstrations every day. They only laid off three people (out of a staff of over 50 people), so why him? I just thought it was a short-sighted decision and one that has upset a lot of people. Just wanted to give another perspective on things.

    • Michael Lynch

      Thanks for the comment, Andrew. It does seem like a shame to lay off somebody engaged in a good living history presentation.

      –ML

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