What is Interpretation?

Old fashioned kettle with text in a graphic 'steam' bubble above it

A kettle with a story at Stansbury Museum

Interpretation is more than simply presenting information. It is a deliberate strategy to communicate key messages about events, subjects or sites. Interpretation conveys aspects of an item’s historical significance which enriches the visitor experience, rather than just stating facts. It provides a clear message backed up by good research to tell an interesting and meaningful story. This could include information about an item’s historic, artistic, scientific, social or spiritual significance; how these have changed over time, and conservation messages.

Interpretation can take many different forms and should be tailored to the target audience/s.