What We Do


We are storytellers and we collaborate with museum and exhibit designers to develop outstanding visitor experiences. We specialize in researching, interpreting, and developing creative, relevant content. Our projects connect communities, and conserve cultural and environmental legacies, with an emphasis on interpretation and education.

Our goal is to be on time and under budget – always!

The professional writing team of Hands on Heritage has a combined professional and educational background in military history, sports, natural science, conservation, archaeology, Native American studies, art history, religion, politics, technology, and mass communications.

Our Services

Hands on Heritage accepts projects based upon merit and interest. We work with for-profit companies and non-profit organizations, as well as communities, governments entities, and higher education institutions. From developing interpretive content for museums and parks to editing pamphlets and memoirs, projects can be large or small. As professional writers, we conduct research to locate and share stories that bind the past, present, and future.

We provide management support and services to complete projects within budget and on time. Our abilities include researching, writing, interviewing, and digital storytelling. We are adept at planning and implementing projects, collaborating with team members, developing measurable goals and objectives, monitoring progress, and evaluating project success from inception to opening day. Contact us for a consultation.

Hands on Heritage with Robin Van Auken

Lance Van Auken gives Torii Hunter a tour of the Hall of Excellence and Former Astronaut Dr. Story Musgrave’s exhibit at World of Little League Museum. 

Writing & Content Development
Are you designing a museum or exhibit and need assistance with content research and writing? We are storytellers and we collaborate with museum and exhibit designers to develop outstanding visitor experiences. As professional writers, we research, interpret, and develop creative content from captions and artifact identifications to summaries, to narratives for script or display.

Museum Projects
Lance is a proficient and precise project manager and exhibit content writer. His expertise is in shepherding the later phases of the museum design process, which includes helping clients develop and select museum content, writing narratives, overseeing exhibit design, shop fabrication, graphics production, and on-site installation. Working with the detailing team allows him to keep projects on schedule and budget. Robin’s background in museum education enhances her understanding of clients’ needs, and she has superior interviewing and writing skills. From creating an archive to conducting oral histories, to designing a World Wide Web-based historical exhibit, we can assist in documenting the past and influence the future.

Corporate Histories & Management Memoirs
Successful companies often require brief corporate histories for in-house use; some corporations desire an in-depth book for trade distribution. Perhaps you require a specialist to chronicle and illustrate your company’s story for publication. We provide guidance for new or existing book projects needing supplementary or outside help. If your company leader has a compelling story or captivating executive viewpoint to contribute, then consider sharing the secret of their success in a memoir. We are available to write, co-author, or ghostwrite a book or article on any topic. All organizations have a history, however, not all have a heritage. Conserve and protect it, endorse and promote it, and earn revenue from it with a project designed for your association.

Landmark Planning
Perhaps there is an important anniversary impending, a landmark for your municipality or organization? Maybe your town is celebrating its centennial or its bicentennial? These events offer the opportunity to unify past, present, and future into a significant commemoration. If you would like assistance with this event, we can offer as much – or as little – aid as you require for designing events, publications, promotion, and memorabilia. In addition to our communication services, we have experience in developing print books, eBooks, photo scrapbooks, video scrapbooks, multimedia projects, brochures, pamphlets, and manuals. We are “digital archaeologists” and enjoy working with and preserving artifacts and old photographs.

Research & Records
Are you looking for proficient assistance in locating important historical records? Maybe you’re interested in locating photographs, newspaper articles, documents, advertisements, books, or other memorabilia related to your organization’s past? Perhaps you would like to find out more about your company’s founder, its responsibility during war and depression, or your original competitors. Using resources ranging from the Library of Congress and National Archives to your local courthouse, newspaper and historical society, we can investigate for you.

Oral History Programs
An oral history program helps others profit from the well-deserved wisdom of the people who built your community, your business, or association. Documents tell merely a piece of any organization’s tale. With decades of experience in journalism, we have conducted taped interviews with more than 500 individuals, including veterans, celebrities, executives, officials, policymakers, support staff, and individuals.