Thursday, August 22, 2013

Weekly Blog Roundup

Here are a few interesting posts from the museum blog world this week.

Reflections on the African Burial Ground Project at NMSC Archeology & Museum Blog

This is a really wonderful, thoughtful post on a sensitive project. I always count on this blog for good explorations of topics I never would have thought about otherwise, and this particular discussion of the archaeology and history behind the African Burial Ground, tied in with the modern sensitivities toward the space - and the 2003 reburial of remains - hits it out of the park.

Collecting Trayvon Martin's Hoodie at Museum Commons

Collecting contemporary history - particularly contemporary history of tragedy - is always controversial and difficult. When a Smithsonian curator mentioned that the hoodie Trayvon Martin wore when he was shot might be a good addition to a museum collection, opinions exploded. This is a good summary post with some thoughtful conclusions about the role collecting objects plays in making history.

Help Your Intern Get a Full-Time Job at the Harvard Business Review

Internships are perhaps even more crucial in the museum world than they are in the corporate world. Most graduate schools require one to finish a degree. Many of us have made valuable contacts and even gotten jobs from our own internships. How do you facilitate that when you're on the other side of the table?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Re-Read of Excellence and Equity

The New England Museum Association's Young & Emerging Professionals group (of which I am a co-chair) is re-reading the classic AAM publication Excellence and Equity. I read it in a grad school class a few years ago, and remember nodding my head and agreeing with a lot of it.

It's 21 years old now, which begs the question: has it achieved its goals? Are we further along than we used to be?

The YEPs will be posing questions on Facebook, delving deeper on LinkedIn, and using the hashtag #yepsread.

Join the conversation!

I'll also be doing blog entries here for the next few weeks with my thoughts on a few things that come up.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Weekly Blog Roundup

Here are a few interesting posts from the museum blog world this week.

Don Wildman and a Mystery of a Museum Show from the Museumist

I'm really torn on Mysteries at the Museum; on the one hand, hooray public exposure for museums! On the other, the episodes I've seen seem to focus more on sensationalist stuff, not really neat overlooked history tidbits. Regardless, this is a neat guest post that gets behind the scenes on the show, which is obviously doing pretty well.

Every Word Counts

This isn't a specific post but rather a new blog that's come across my radar, highly recommended. It's great. Succinct, clear writing is so incredibly important in the museum world and I feel like it doesn't get nearly as much attention as it ought.

What is the most innovative type of museum? from Museum Planner

This is more in the neighborhood of downright depressing rather than inspirational. My preferred type of museum, history museums, gets second to last place, beating out only corporate museums. I've long felt that really good, quality innovation and participatory experiences are toughest to do at history sites, and I haven't yet been able to fully articulate why I feel that way, but this survey certainly seems to bear out that perception.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Like many a museum professional, I document brilliant ideas so I can steal borrow them at a later date.

This sign on a door at the Rokeby Museum, a historic house museum in Ferrisburgh, Vermont, is sheer genius. It's right above the latch handle of a door leadin upstairs that must get opened all the time by over-curious visitors.

Text reads: "Not open to the public. But if you're really curious, ask about becoming a volunteer or tour guide."

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Weekly Blog Roundup

Here are a few interesting blog posts that appeared in the museum world this week.

The Art of Irresistible Email from the Harvard Business Review

Not a museum blog (obviously!) but this is a really great breakdown of email format. How do you send an email that gets results instead of gets ignored? List clear objectives, format the information well, and be clear about what you need. The case study is particularly good.

The Pop-Up Museum of Queer History from History@Work

Pop up museums are very trendy right now, and I don't always see the point or appeal of them, but this project is precisely right - it really gets at what I think the type can be.

Museum Professionals Make Terrible Visitors from Peabody's Lament

All true. Every single word.