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Historic New England museum guides ready for a new season

May 19, 2010

Museum Guides

Historic New England’s visitor experience team spent two days in May training new and “veteran” guides for the 2010 season. Veteran guides attended a training session full of information on this year's initiatives like the centennial celebrations and the Preservation Maintenance Fund. Staff including President and CEO Carl Nold, Executive Vice President Diane Viera, Preservation Project Manager Kerry Vautrot, and Senior Membership Manager Kirsten Alexander presented sessions on institution-wide efforts to preserve and present New England’s heritage.

Brand new guides attended a full day session that explained Historic New England’s approach to tours, the high value we place on welcoming new members, and how to make sure tours are meeting the needs of our visitors. Guides also received some “nuts and bolts” training, such as how to make sure the sites are secure and what to do in case of an emergency.

In addition to providing all of the information and techniques that guides need to welcome visitors to the houses, the sessions are a great time for guides from all of our properties to come together, catch up, and compare notes on tour guiding across New England. More than 100 guides are ready to welcome visitors and share Historic New England’s house museums with the public.

Old gloves

Posted by Charles Read on April 8, 2011
Diane Viera ~~~

Read your OpEd piece in the Providence Journal: What a beat-up glove can tell us about New England.

My comments are not meant as one-upsmanship, but rather a discourse in marking culture by age. I don’t know how old your husband is or how old his glove, but when you mention your son’s “aluminum bat” I have an idea of your generation.

I have the glove I bought as an adolescent, bought by saving from the $2 a week earned as an after school delivery boy from the fifth to eighth grade. It is a Spaulding Jim Tabor model. It is the only baseball glove I ever owned.

We had no adult-led baseball; no T-ball; no Little League. My father never saw me swing a bat. Our games were played on rough fields of dirt, bases marked by plywood. We swung wooden bats, often repaired with screws and heavily wound with friction tape.

I have shown my glove to youngsters when the Rhode Island Department of Elderly Affairs held programs where youth interacted with seniors. I have watched the kids’ eyes open wide, unable to fathom how someone could use a glove whose fingers were not linked.

So it is difficult for me to find a link between my baseball memories and those of your son. Yet, you are quite right, the feel of an old leather glove can span time and is important to our history.

Charles Read, who became a BoSox fan in 1944.
Richmond, Rhode Island

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Historic New England museum guides ready for a new season