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Princeton Historical Society and Princeton Arts Society: Creating a Self-Guided Historic Tour

Welcome to our page! The Princeton Arts Society and the Princeton Historical Society desired a tour that would expose residents and visitors of Princeton, Massachusetts to the town’s history and art. This project focused on identifying the historically and artistically significant sites in Princeton then researching ideal components of a physical brochure and an online guide of a self-guided tour. Additionally, we developed a prototype of both the physical brochure and the virtual tour for immediate implementation by our sponsors.

Project Sponsor: Princeton Historical Society and Princeton Arts Society


The Princeton Historical Society was founded in 1938 with the purpose of promoting historical research and

preservation in Princeton. The historical society also takes on the task of “…promot[ing] conversations on creating a better future” (Princeton Historical Society). Better history education leads to more well-rounded, knowledgeable people and a sense of town pride within residents.

More than 50 years later, the Princeton Arts Society was founded in 1990 and its purpose is to “…both encourage and support local artists…” as well as to hold programs for its members and the community (Princeton Arts Society). Both organizations currently have programs in place to promote community interest and involvement but the creation of a more interactive and self-guided tour could boost community engagement with the arts and the town’s history.

We specifically worked closely with Claire Golding and Clair Degutis, who are members of the Princeton Historical Society and Princeton Arts Society.

Clair Degutis (Left) and Claire Golding (Right)
Clair Degutis (Left) and Claire Golding (Right)

Student Researchers

From Left to Right: Leah Holt, Rekik Tafesse, Franc Luga, Daniel Yun
From Left to Right: Leah Holt (Robotics Engineering, Humanities with Concentration in German Studies), Rekik Tafesse (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Franc Luga (Electrical and Computer Engineering), Daniel Yun (Computer Science)

Our Project

The goal of our project was to supply the Princeton Historical and Princeton Arts Societies with an easily updateable self-guided tour available both digital and a printed brochure. We were tasked with using technology that best suited the needs of Princeton and the volunteers who would  be maintaining and updating the tour materials. Such technology needed to work reliably without the use of internet due to Princeton’s current lack of internet connectivity in the majority of the town. In addition, we also needed to develop a set of recommendations suggesting how best to move forward and a list of other locations and sites that could be added to the tour at a later date.

Goals and Objectives

The goal of our project was to create and evaluate a self-guided tour for the Princeton Historical Society (PHS) and the Princeton Arts Society (PAS). The goal of the tour was to familiarize residents and visitors with the town’s history and landmarks by providing an interactive experience that is accessible to all ages. We developed the following seven objectives in order to accomplish our overall project goal. We grouped the objectives into two phases: (1) research and (2) development and evaluation. Our objectives were grouped into their respective phases because they shared many of the same methods.

Phase 1:     Research

Objective 1: Identify the desired goals of PHS and PAS for the tour
Objective 2: Identify features of good historic town tours
Objective 3: Identify the historically significant sites and art of Princeton, MA
Objective 4: Determine the most appropriate technology to operationalize the Princeton tour

Phase 2:       Development & Recommendations

Objective 5: Develop tour and tour supplements
Objective 6: Make recommendations for further development of a self-guided tour

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