Ankersmit has argued that the substitution theory of historical representation should be preferred to the resemblance theory. Historical representations do not resemble the past; they take the place of the absent past and function as a substitute for it. Contrary to Ankersmit, I will argue that there is no reason to prefer the substitution theory to the resemblance theory. Moreover, the substitution theory cannot account for the relationship between historical representations and the past. A third theory, the exemplification theory of representation, will be put forward to account for that relationship. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.