Monday, January 1, 2007

Museum Thoughts

This blog is a way to continue my own thinking about museums--mostly, but not exclusively--community history museums. I hope to write about some of my independent projects on exhibits and interpretation, thoughts raised by my work with undergraduate students, and a grab bag of ideas that I glean from reading, talking and otherwise considering the place of museums and history in contemporary life.

I thought I'd start with a copy of a letter from the Walter Elwood Museum's archives, kindly sent to me by the museum's collections manager, Kathleen Coleman. Dated January 3, 1963, the letter reads:

Dear Sirs:
I am a ten year old girl who is going to start a museum this spring. I have some money saved for the museum building. Do you have any information that you could send me about the subjects listed below?
1. Starting the museum
2. Arranging the exhibits
3. Size and kind of building to use.
4. What would people be interested in? (I have many exhibits already)
5. How should the exhibits be mounted and labeled?
Thank you.

and it is signed Marilyn Hansen, from Olive Bridge, NY. I don't know whether Marilyn ever started her museum, but her questions in some form or another, are the questions that all of us in the museum field strive to answer--and that, in this blog, I hope to consider.

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