Heritage centre

A heritage centre, center, or museum is a public facility – typically a museum, monument, visitor centre, or park – that is primarily dedicated to the presentation of historical and cultural information about a place and its people, and often also including, to some degree, the area's natural history. Heritage centres typically differ from most traditional museums in featuring a high proportion of "hands-on" exhibits and live or lifelike specimens and practical artifacts.[1]

A wooden main building of the Kniivilä Local Heritage Museum in the Hailuoto Island, Finland

Some are open-air museumsheritage parks – devoted to depiction of daily life or occupational activity at a particular time and place, and may feature re-creations of typical buildings of an era. Such sites are often used for experimental archaeology, and as shooting locations for documentaries and historical-fiction films and television. A few are rebuilt archaeological sites, using the excavated foundations of original buildings, some restore historic structures that were not yet lost, while others are mock-ups built near actual sites of historic value (which may still be subject to ongoing excavation, study, and preservation). Many also have living museum features, such as costumed staff, demonstrations of and short courses in historical craft-working, dramatic presentations (live-action mock combat, etc.), and other living history activities. Others may be more narrowly focused on a particular occupation or industry, such as rail transport or the early factories or mines around which a community developed.

The distinction between a heritage centre or park, and a history-based theme park can become blurred, as at Nikko Edomura, focused on Feudal Japan, and Wild West City, a self-described "heritage theme park" about the American Old West.

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