Friday, May 3, 2013

Weekly Blog Roundup

Spring is coming to Vermont, I've been busy at work, and I'm about to start riding my horse again. While I have many ideas for posts, there's always one more spring cleaning task to do before sitting down at a computer - in fact, I haven't turned on my home computer in nearly two weeks. Ah, the mobile age!

I have been watching and reading, however, and I'd like to start doing a weekly roundup of interesting museum blog posts. Each Friday, I'll post a handful of links and a few sentences about why that post stood out to me. If you have a museum blog and I'm not reading it, I'd love to be - please drop a comment and I'll add you to my RSS feed.

Here's this week.

Excellent overview of a controversial decision by the Barnes, which recently moved to downtown Philadelphia claiming it wasn't getting enough visitors in its previous location. Now? They're getting too many visitors and have increased their admission price to make sure everyone takes the audio tour, which includes instructions on museum etiquette. So much for accessibility. 

I'm thrilled to see this development: major museums offering courses on Coursera. There are some legitimate complaints about MOOCs - namely, they don't offer the same intimate, personalized classroom experience of traditional college courses - but overall I think the trend is a good one. Could this be the way museums finally crack into the world of informal digital education?

Rainey Tisdale was one of my professors at Tufts, and she's one of the most original and disciplined thinkers I have ever met, especially in the areas of material culture and urban public history. She made a call for cultural institutions to preserve items related to the Boston Marathon bombing soon after it happened, and her advocacy was picked up by WBUR, Boston's NPR station. In this post, she follows up with observations of the memorial site at Copley Square and comments on citizen curation at the memorial. It's a thoughtful, emotional piece and I'm glad Rainey is documenting events.

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