Content & Digital Storytelling

Bringing Your Stories to Life

Featured Content

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successful exhibit projects completed

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states and 5 foreign countries visited by HAI for projects

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total assets licensed on
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National Park Service sites interpreted

Featured Blog Posts

Frequently Asked Questions

Our team can typically complete tasks like in-depth historical research, interpretive planning, and oral histories in less than six months. Small projects tend to take closer to a year, while larger projects may take two or three years. Often, content development accounts for only part of the time it takes to complete a project―tasks like graphic design, fabrication and installation, and web development can take several months, too.

Content Assessment and Planning

Understanding your story, assets, audience, and goals is a critical first step in the storytelling process. We help our clients see the full picture and chart a path to the future. 

We will work with your team to review and evaluate all extant content—from extant planning documents and strategic initiatives to internal archival materials and website content. A thorough assessment will identify gaps in content and opportunities for new initiatives and programming. 

This assessment will inform the planning process. Our team will help you select and define new initiatives, develop a schedule that aligns with your priorities, and create a plan of action that will result in a meaningful, dynamic heritage program for your organization. 

Our content assessment and planning services include 

  • Consultation and visioning workshops
  • Content assessment and documentation 
  • Content inventory 
  • Strategic initiative development
  • Conceptualization and planning

Exhibit Design and Development

Our content development services help museums, interpretive centers, educators, and corporations capture imagination through sights, sounds, and words. HAI collaborates with clients, designers, fabricators, and other exhibit professionals to develop a storyline that provides a richly layered learning experience.

We participate in all phases of exhibit, audiovisual, and interactive content development—from initial conceptualization and exhibit planning through final fabrication. Whether you need a full storyline and script for museum exhibits, historic photographs for a small display, research for a digital interactive, or help licensing media content, our content development specialists have the skills and experience to get your project done on time and within budget.

While our trained researchers find the striking photographs, film, audio, and artifacts that bring a story to life, our skilled exhibit writers craft engaging label text and multimedia scripts that speak to your audience. 

Our exhibit design and development services include

  • Master and interpretive planning
  • Content development for exhibits, interactives, websites, and multimedia
  • Image and artifact research
  • Label text and script writing
  • Fact checking
  • ADA-compliant audio descriptions
  • Exhibit script appraisal and editing
  • High-resolution asset acquisition and licensing
  • Artifact acquisition
  • Project management

Histories and Heritage Planning

Your organization’s history is a priceless asset and an invaluable resource. Countless insights and innovations, challenges met and obstacles overcome—not to mention years of effort—make your business what it is today. HAI can help you leverage your story. 

Our expert historians create corporate history books, develop web and video histories, and conduct oral history projects that recover and share the stories that form the essence of your organizational identity. We provide political, economic, social, and cultural context to show the full dimensions of your organization’s contributions to its customers, its employees, and its industry. 

Not sure where to begin? HAI can guide you through a strategic planning process to develop a holistic, iterative heritage program. 

Our histories and heritage planning services include 

  • Consultation 
  • Visioning workshops 
  • Strategic plan development
  • Research 
  • Conceptualization and narrative development
  • Oral histories and story capture
  • Book and e-book writing
  • Content development for audiovisual media, websites, and social media
  • Archives and knowledge management

Educational Content and Experiences

We are passionate about making history accessible and exciting for students of all ages. 

All of our content is designed to educate, but we work specifically with educators from publishing houses, museums, historic sites, and elsewhere to develop engaging, age-appropriate learning experiences. Whether you need a lesson plan, sensitivity and fact checking, a publishable set of primary sources, or an interactive digital module, we will work with you to create an impactful outcome. 

Our team has worked with one of the top educational publishers to develop an award-winning digital learning tool that immerses students in the past through compelling narratives and insightful primary sources. We will bring this experience to bear on your project, as well as an understanding of key elements such as reading level and state educational standards to your project.

Our educational content and experiences services include 

  • Storyboarding and planning
  • Primary source research
  • Multimedia licensing and acquisition
  • Content development for textbooks, lesson plans, and digital experiences
  • Custom map and infographic development
  • Sensitivity and fact checking
  • Copy editing
  • ADA-compliant audio descriptions

Interpretive Planning

Preserving your historic site is only the beginning. Compelling interpretation attracts people to historic sites. It’s how we share history, stir emotions, and allow visitors to truly experience echoes of the past.

HAI has extensive experience developing creative interpretive programming for historical sites around the world. We start with a professional interpretive planning process that identifies the particular challenges and objectives of every project. Our certified interpretive planner works with clients to develop a comprehensive strategy for conveying key messages to target audiences in the most effective way, while respecting and preserving their unique heritage. The result is a foundational document that will inform decisions at your site well into the future.

 We can then transform your interpretive planning goals into a reality. Our trained researchers and experienced script writers are adept at creating experiences that capture your visitors’ imagination. We bring these classical elements of storytelling to a range of different media, including traditional wayfaring signage, on the web, via smartphone apps, or in interactive audio and video formats.

Our interpretive planning services include

  • Theme development
  • Short- and long-term goal setting
  • Audience identification and analysis
  • Interpretive recommendations
  • Implementation and action plans
  • Stakeholder workshops and town halls
  • Public surveys
  • Assessment of existing planning documents

Research

HAI is located just outside Washington, D.C., so our researchers have the tremendous resources of the Library of Congress, National Archives, Smithsonian Institution, and other federal agencies at their fingertips. We are just as comfortable outside the well-traveled halls of those repositories and have traveled to others around the globe for our clients.

Our expertise is not confined to the past. We apply our proven research methodologies to all subjects—from science and medicine to sports, entertainment, and current events. 

Our research services include 

  • Archival research
  • Online research
  • Multimedia and artifact research
  • Asset collection and delivery
  • Research analysis and report writing
  • Chronology and timeline development

Asset Acquisition and Licensing

The right image can evoke emotion, spark conversation, and tell a story without words. We understand the power and importance of multimedia, and help you obtain the high-quality assets you need to bring your story to life. 

HAI’s knowledgeable researchers know the ins and outs of copyright clearance. We will identify compelling and relevant audiovisual media and navigate the licensing process on your behalf. Our team coordinates closely with designers to understand the specific needs of each project and uses digital asset management software to organize files, capture metadata, and deliver assets to our clients.

Our asset acquisition and licensing services include 

  • Multimedia research
  • Copyright clearance
  • High-resolution file acquisition and transmittal 
  • High-resolution scanning
  • Credit line coordination
  • “History Associates, Inc. was very easy to work with. They listened to our ideas, concerns, and questions. They were also a tremendous resource for our group, as exhibit development was a new area for us.”

    Dorothy Dale Pollack
    GlaxoSmithKline

  • “With History Associates’ help we were able to meet our production deadlines and produce a company history that is a well-written and beautifully crafted memento of a corporate milestone we are proud to share with employees, customers, and shareholders.”

    Daniel Ritz
    (Former) Director of Investor Relations, Bausch + Lomb

  • “The interpretation at Third Winchester is a huge success story. Visitation among tourists and local residents is higher than we ever expected.”

    Jim Campi
    Director of Communications, American Battlefield Trust

  • “I’d like to take this opportunity to point out how great it was to work with everyone at History Associates. As a whole, [the] group was thorough, efficient, professional, friendly, and everything else I’d hoped to find in a research/content partner. A very special thank you to everyone involved in making this first version so great.”

    Brian Case
    Vice President, Communications, National Philanthropic Trust, Regarding “A History of Modern Philanthropy” online exhibition at HistoryofGiving.org

  • “History Associates exceeded my wildest expectations. They are true history professionals who can take what may appear to be boring information and turn it into a very compelling story. Our member reaction was overwhelmingly positive. If they did it for foot and ankle surgery, I’m sure they can do it for you!”

    J.C. (Chris) Mahaffey
    MS, CAE, Executive Director, American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, Regarding the 75th anniversary book for ACFAS