With his six principles, Freeman Tilden defined in ‘Interpreting our Heritage’ how to open visitors’ minds to their cultural and natural heritage. Finally – after 60 years – this definitive book is available in German

Every year, millions of tourists visit our national parks, nature parks, museums and cultural historic places. But how does this make a difference in their lives? How will a tree, a historic monument or an exhibit become meaningful for them? Authorised by the US National Park Service, Freeman Tilden visited many national parks and museums in the USA to find answers on these questions. He summarised his experiences in the book ‘Interpreting our Heritage’.

Although it was written in the 1950s, it is still up-to-date and the definitive book for everybody who is involved in the field of heritage interpretation. The fourth edition was released ten years ago.
Reading this book reinforced my conviction to integrate heritage interpretation much more in the activities of Nationalparks Austria.

Since the book was not available in my mother tongue, the desire to have this book in German one day grew more and more. Thanks to an initiative of Nationalparks Austria, we were able to publish the first German edition of the book that defined the structure for heritage interpretation.
Together, with Nationalparks Austria and the National Park Gesäuse, Thorsten Ludwig published the first German edition and added an extensive introduction. The translation by Daniel Fuchs is very close to the original text and remains very easy to read. The new edition includes completely new pictures to show interpretation in a contemporary and a more European light.

Nationalparks Austria represents not only six breathtaking National Parks but is also an association with the ambition to constantly improve the work of the National Parks. The publishing of the book was enabled by the Austrian Rural Development Programme. Special thanks go to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management of Austria and the European Union.

I am very proud that we started and completed this particular project and I would like to encourage you to do it likewise to spread Tilden’s thoughts and ideas and to support the future development of heritage interpretation in Europe.

We hope for many readers of the book, but mostly for a successful implementation of interpretation in your paid or voluntary work, be it at a cultural-historic site, in a protected area or at a totally different place, wherever people encounter their heritage.

Herbert Wolger is Director of Gesäuse National Park in Austria and member of the steering committee of Nationalparks Austria. Gesäuse National Park is in charge of training for park rangers within Nationalparks Austria and other common activities related to education. You can get in touch with him at: herbert.woelger@nationalpark.co.at

To cite this article:
Herbert Wolger (2017) ‘Interpreting our Heritage – finally available in German’. In Interpret Europe Newsletter 1-2017, 21

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