Standards for member groups of the Queensland Living History Federation

Authenticity standards for individuals and member groups of the Queensland Living History Federation.


These Standards define the level of individual and/or group authenticity expected of Queensland Living History Federation members and groups. 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 individual QLHF members will portray or display their chosen period, era or theme authentically and carry & conduct themselves that portrayal and display in such a manner to contribute positively & professionally to their groups goals and aims.

    • The central theme on which the individuals portrayal is based is authentic, correct in historical context and well defined.
    • The group activities undertaken are based on primary documentary evidence and supported by current scholarship.
    • The items in use or on display are accurate, authentic to the era portrayed and based on research material data for that period.
    • Primary sources as evidence should be obvious though if necessary  are required to be produced by members, and member groups when requested by fellow QLHF members or the QLHF Committee. It is important that we assist each other in reaching the best possible standard and we do so with respect.
    • The Group administration will ensure authenticity standards are adhered to at all times.


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

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


The interpretation of the theme depicted, and all activities as presented, is focused to group goals and aims, is accurate within the historical context of its display and is supported by the historical record and research material.

  • 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, era and individual or collective activity.
  • The presentation is sound and not subject to questionable interpretations of historic fact.


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

  • 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.
  • Any displays, portrayals, presentation, unsafe or illegal actions or personal behaviours below reasonable expectations or perception will be dealt with promptly by the individual when raised with them and if not remedied will be resolved immediately by the members Group Administration.

Concept Definitions


Engages in the dramatic performance, restaging or recreation of identified or identifiable socially historical eras or events which may include the exhibiting or display of the manner of operation, the method of wear of garments or apparel, social graces, mannerisms, interactions and day to day activities, machines, devices and weaponry across a historical spectrum and which may or may not necessarily be limited to a static, singular or group nature.


The factual basis for our activities.


Made up of all appropriate and authentically necessary components

Documentary Evidence

A portfolio of materials drawn from reliable sources which demonstrates the authenticity of a QLHF member or their 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 QLHF Members or the QLHF Committee.

It allows for an open and equitable peer review process of appraisal based upon information collated by the QLHF Member and/or member group.

Supporting evidence should be competent, 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 being mindful in a public place or display all eyes are on us.


How we appear in public either individually or collectively when displaying as a group.


A particular subject, era or historical context involving the goals and aims of the individual QLHF member or QLHF Member group.


Contact Officer President, Secretary
Date Approved 9th October 2017
Dates Updated
Approval Authority Queensland Living History Federation Committee
Related Policies, Procedures, Guidelines, Forms or Templates Queensland Living History Federation Bylaws
Date for Revision January 2020