Introduction to Part I
Pages 3

Why kids? In 2001, the American Association of Museums publication Excellence in Practice challenged museum professionals to explore the dimensions of accessibility to “provide multiple levels and points of entry into content, including intellectual, physical, cultural, individual, group, and intergenerational.”1 History museums have made considerable strides over the past two decades to break down barriers-mental, physical, psychological, and emotional-for ever-increasing subsets of the museum’s potential audience. However, when it comes to kids, many history museums have failed to grapple with a host of formidable barriers that limit accessibility. We tend to justify why kids are not a fit for history exhibitions rather than exploring ways to make them feel welcome; we blame schools for giving history its bad reputation of being boring rather than taking a hard look at how our approach to interpreting history in exhibitions might engage younger audiences.