Historical Interpreter

JOB TITLE:  Historical Interpreter
DEPARTMENT:  DiMenna Children’s History Museum (DCHM)
REPORTS TO:  Living History Coordinator               

The New-York Historical Society (N-YHS) seeks dynamic and passionate Historical Interpreters to join DiMenna Children’s History Museum (DCHM) to lead Living History programs and assist with additional family programs. This work will usually take place on weekends, school vacation weeks, and holidays.


Historical Interpreters lead informal educational experiences, demonstrations of historical trades and skills, and timed theatrical performances for families in the Museum galleries. Interpreters use period garments, costuming, primary sources, and reproduction touch objects to create impressions of composite individuals from the past. Composite individuals are interpreted by speaking about the past with present-day language, or in third-person. Upcoming impressions include: Women and 19th Century Travel, Working Women in 1820s New York, African Americans in 18th Century Trades, and Women Suffragists. All impressions are assigned by the Living History Coordinator, who provides background material, Living History training, and ongoing support in the development of impressions.

We are currently seeking Historical Interpreters to bring to life the various stories of African Americans, Latinx, and women who lived from the late 18th century through the early twentieth century. Interpreters will be expected to learn a historical trade such as weaving, bookbinding, or dressmaking to present to the public in connection with the chosen impression.

In addition to the above responsibilities, Historical Interpreters will be expected to assist with additional family programs such as birthday parties, history holiday programming, and drop-in weekend activities, on an as needed basis. $25/hr for program leadership and $18/hr for training, prep, and program assistance.


  • Lead educational experiences for families with children of all ages through informal interpretations in the Museum galleries, including demonstrations, timed events, and drop in programs.
  • Wear and interpret historical and reproduction garments, accessories, and/or objects.
  • Prepare and maintain all program materials for all programs you lead or assist with.
  • Learn the basics of assigned historical skills in order to lead demonstrations.
  • Represent the Museum with an outgoing and professional demeanor and excellent customer service skills.
  • Study and review resources as needed to maintain and build your impressions.
  • Attend and actively engage in all mandatory trainings. Fall training dates to will be shared upon hire.
  • Communicate professionally and promptly with program coordinator(s) about scheduling, program set-up, and other logistics related to all upcoming programs, trainings, and other meetings.
  • Maintain a flexible schedule; availability to work weekends, holidays, and occasional weekdays as needed; and ability to commit to scheduled programs months in advance.
  • Additional duties as requested.


Qualified candidates will have:

  • Bachelor’s Degree required with a concentration in museum or educational theater, acting, history, museum studies, art history, African American studies, or other related disciplines preferred.
  • Experience working with children between the ages of 4 and 14.
  • Paid or volunteer experience as a museum educator, historical reenactor, costumed interpreter, living historian, or actor in period productions.
  • Strong commitment to the ongoing development and study of impressions using resources provided by the Museum or pursued by the candidate.
  • Expertise in a historical skill, trade, or craft related to current impressions a plus.
  • Experience engaging visitors with disabilities a plus.
  • Bilingual abilities a plus.

Physical Demands: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee with or without accommodation, to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

Work involves moving throughout the Museum, lifting program materials and wearing historical garments (up to 30 lbs), and performing other similar actions while historically costumed for long periods of time.


For consideration please send a cover letter and resume to: resumes@nyhistory.org    

 Please reference the job title in the subject line. 

The New-York Historical Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Creative: Tronvig Group