Standards for member groups of the Queensland Living History Federation


These Standards define the level of quality expected of Queensland Living History Federation members. They form the basis of membership of the QLHF. The Standards are applied in accordance with the Federation’s aim to improve the quality and value of the services provided by its membership. They may be modified from time to time in as a result of formal review.


The five Standards presented here are derived from the common themes identified in the various assessment methods used by the Federation.


All members will portray or display their chosen period or theme authentically.

    • The central theme on which the organisation is based is authentic and well defined.
    • The activities undertaken are based on primary documentary evidence and supported by current scholarship.
    • The items in use or on display are accurate and based on current scholarship and research data for that period.
    • Primary sources as evidence are required to be produced by member groups when requested by the QLHF.


The design, materials and methods of construction of reproductions are indistinguishable from those in use at the time and place represented.

  • All items in use are appropriate to the period, context and social standing depicted.
  • All items are made to period patterns using appropriate construction methods.
  • All items are made of materials appropriate to the period, context and social standing portrayed.


The interpretation of the theme depicted, and all activities as presented, is focused, accurate and supported by the historical record and current scholarship and research data.

  • The interpretation is aided by the provision of supporting material for the information of the public.
  • The interpretation conveys clear messages and is organised around an explicitly defined theme and activity.
  • The presentation is sound and not subject to questionable interpretations of historic fact.


All members preserve, display or interpret their selected theme or activity in a manner that is readily understandable, accurate, and documented. The presentation should be uniform in quality across all members.

  • All Codes of Practice, Codes of Conduct, and appropriate Guidelines are adhered to.
  • Encampments or display layouts create a safe environment for both public and participants.
  • The group’s appearance is complete, accurate, in keeping with the context being portrayed and of uniform high quality.


All public-focused performances are authentic, of high quality, and conducted in a safe manner.

  • All Codes of Practice, Codes of Conduct, and appropriate Guidelines are adhered to.
  • Activities undertaken, excluding media or publicity appearances, are based on documentary evidence or supported by current scholarship.
  • The consideration of public and member safety is paramount to all activities.

Concept Definitions


The factual basis for our activities.


Made up of all appropriate and authentically necessary components

Documentary Evidence

A portfolio of materials which demonstrates the authenticity of a group’s impression is an integral part of the process, and should be supplied any time an application is made for whatever purpose or at the request of the QLHF. It allows for an open and equitable process of appraisal based upon information collated by the Applicant and/or member group. It may be presented in any appropriate format. Supporting evidence should be competent and relevant and lead a prudent person to the same conclusion as that of the proposers/ member group. It should always be:

  • valid – i.e. directly related to the matters being assessed. For example, extant artefacts will take precedence over other primary and/or secondary sources.
  • sufficient – there must be enough evidence to enable the assessor to make a consistent and reliable judgment as to its common use. Evidence therefore should support the conclusion that the item/s were in common use or, if a unique or one off item, that the unique or one off item is being used by a single individual and in the context of the applicants/member groups portrayal.
  • authentic – the evidence presented must in itself be authentic, reputable and current. For example, current peer reviewed scholarship will take precedence over older secondary sources or interpretations.


Primary sources – photo, picture, artefact, original documentation, manuals, contemporary documentation from the period.

Secondary sources – scholarly article, written descriptions, interpretations of pictures or photographs.


How we interpret what it is that we are doing.


‘Items’ as referred to in the Standards, means anything used, worn, or with which the group has interaction with, insofar as it relates to the formal activities of the group in public.


Every material object we use.


How we do what we do in public.


How we appear in public.


A particular subject.