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Heurich House Museum

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This is a contributing entry for Heurich House Museum and only appears as part of that tour.Learn More.
This tour has illuminated the lives of household staff members by exploring the places they called home. But, what about those staff members who did not leave a historical record? How do we continue to tell their stories even with limited archival resources and materials? And why is this work important?

Even though historical records for some of the household staff members are incomplete, it does not mean that the history of their lives is limited to historical documentation. The historical record, whether census documents, personal diaries, or newspaper articles, is full of inaccuracies and exclusions.


Upper-class white men like Christian Heurich often have the best-preserved histories. Why do you think this is? Who makes decisions about what is recorded and what is saved and how do those decisions impact the work of historians?


Many staff lived in homes that no longer exist. Why weren’t these places preserved? What factors changed living patterns?


Other times we know only partial addresses. Why is that? Why might the Heurichs have written down more information about some staff members than others?


How do we address these incomplete histories?


How do you think the household staff would tell their stories?


To answer these questions and others, we are conducting ongoing research about household staff who worked for the Heurich family. Follow along as we learn more and share their stories on our @heurichhouse Instagram and Twitter accounts.

Trouillot, Michel-Rolph. Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History. (Boston: Beacon Press, 1995).