Public History

Exploring Your Landscape

DC Historic Sites ( represents the next generation public history mobile experience. The site is both on the web and there is a mobile application as well. While its navigation is quite simple, it is rich in content and offerings. DC Historic is great for both tourists and long term residents. It has a effective map interface, and links to proposed tours, sites, and stories.

DC Historic’s “theory of history” is to help visitors learn more about the District of Columbia’s important and irreplaceable “historic places and spaces.” The primary source of the site’s content is based on the DC Inventory of Historic Sites, the city’s official list of properties deemed worthy of recognition and protection for their contribution to the cultural heritage of the nation’s capital.

DC Historic Sites was developed by the DC Preservation League, Washington’s citywide nonprofit advocate solely dedicated to the preservation, protection, and enhancement of the historic resources of our nation’s capital.

A unique feature of the site is a link called “random stories.” It is an effective place-based technique that the project uses to promote engagement. By selecting a random story, users can discover something new about the city, even if they have lived in DC for a long time.

But the most interesting feature are the well defined walking tours, currently numbering at 18, that provide visitors and residents alike, an opportunity to walk and talk about their history. What makes the tours interesting is the well written historical interpretations that are provided. DC Historic sets a high bar for other cities to follow, but the formula is simple and effective.

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