Significant gaps exist in the understanding of what draws people to outdoor living history museums, the short- and long-term impacts of the experience for visitors, and the most effective elements of the experience in terms of visitor learning.

Conversations with staff and leaders at outdoor living history museums, officers of the Association for Living History Farms and Museums, leadership staff at the AASLH, staff at Conner Prairie and Old Sturbridge Village, and researchers at the Institute for Learning Innovation resulted in the development of a research project to help answer questions about visitor experience at outdoor living history museum.

The hope is that the project will yield useful results applicable not only to living history sites but to history museums and sites that use live interpretation for their programs.