Projects for the New Castle Historical Society
Despite working remotely during the ongoing pandemic, Kyle led a very successful internship for the New Castle Historical Society—piloting the creation of two programs that will help out the organization in the short term and long-term. Funded through the University of Delaware’s E. Lyman Stewart internship program, Kyle’s internship was focused on interpretation.
Liberty and Intelligence: Secrets Are Afoot
As it became clear how prolonged and serious the COVID-19 pandemic would be, Kyle and his site supervisor at the New Castle Historical Society in Delaware decided that his internship would need to adapt. Plans for new tour scripts and research gave way to an entirely innovative idea: a tour activity kit. Named “Liberty and Intelligence: Secrets Are Afoot” (a play on Delaware’s motto “Liberty and Independence”) this self-guided tour enabled the New Castle Historical Society to safely reopen with a type of tour that can be monetized.
Visitors buy the kit and complete an activity that feels like a game—but also learn about the history of New Castle. Themed to New Castle during the Revolutionary War, participants complete puzzles inspired by intelligence operations in the 18th century by visiting seven sites around the City. Inspired by escape rooms, murder mystery kits, and scavenger hunts, this program is a fun way to experience a historic settlement that experienced the American Revolution firsthand.
The kit has been formatted to serve needs during the pandemic but has the ability to continue long afterwards: this is a long-term alternative to the Historical Society’s traditional house tours that can be completed at any time. Kyle hopes to continue developing innovative, nontraditional programming to better engage and grow museum audiences.
New Castle Narrated
Kyle also created and launched New Castle Narrated, a series of informative videos about New Castle, Delaware. This project also responds to the COVID-19 pandemic and museum closures. With many museums, particularly small historical societies, temporarily shuttered, there has been a great necessity to engage audiences online. This series helps the New Castle Historical Society do just that.
Utilizing his skills in video editing and multimedia authoring, Kyle created the first four videos in the series. Each about 4 minutes in length, these bite-sized historical overviews are designed to be informative and interesting. The videos are intended to be multipurpose: they help engage online audiences with general information about New Castle, while also having the ability to inform people about the Dutch House (a New Castle Historical Society property) in the interim when it will undergo scheduled maintenance.