Tag Archives: museums

The Museum Sector is in Crisis

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by Armando Perla Soon after the killing of George Floyd on 25 May 2020, museums joined institutions around the world making public statements of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. Most of the statements from museums were not backed up by a track record of anti-racist work; many were, in fact, covering up a culture of human rights… Read more »

History Slam Episode 155: Cataloguing Culture

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http://activehistory.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/History-Slam-155.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | DownloadBy Sean Graham The Smithsonian Institute bills itself as “the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex.” In an average year, 22 million people visit the 19 Smithsonian museums, galleries, and gardens. The portfolio even includes the National Zoo. These sites can make for great days exploring the history of the United States, but… Read more »

John E. “Jack” Hammell and the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame

By Matthew Corbeil In January 2007, Canadian mining giant Teck Cominco (since rebranded Teck Resources) donated $10 million to the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in what was “the largest corporate gift in the museum’s history.” The donation went toward the creation of three new earth science galleries, allowing the museum to double the number of minerals and gems it could… Read more »

Language Remediation at the WDM: Answering TRC Calls to Action #43 and #67

Kaiti Hannah Author Note: Portions of this blog post were originally published on WDM.ca. They are reproduced with permission from the authors and the Western Development Museum (WDM). The WDM is the provincially mandated human history museum of Saskatchewan. Language is important. The words we choose to use in our historical interpretation must be inclusive, accurate, respectful, current, and meaningful…. Read more »

Authenticity in Museums and Heritage Sites: All It’s Cracked Up to Be?

Kaiti Hannah Working in a museum, one of the most common questions asked by the public is “is it authentic?” As I’ve started to examine the use of the word “authentic” and the idea of authenticity in museums I’ve begun to realize that the word may have no place in a history museum at all. Many institutions get so wrapped… Read more »

Say Cheese? The Dilemma of Photography at Traumatic Heritage Sites

Kaiti Hannah There is an ongoing debate in the field of public history regarding the acceptability of taking photographs in museums. Though history museums seem to be leaning more towards allowing or even actively encouraging photography in their galleries, there are many who object to this phenomenon. Open up any think piece about Millennials and you’re sure to see complaints… Read more »

Pop-Up Museums as a Vehicle for Community Building

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Meredith Leonard Since 2012 the St. Catherines Museum & Welland Canals Centre  has engaged in pop-up style programing as a vehicle through which to reach out to an under-served population in our community – millennials[1] While doing quite well with tourists, older adults and young families, has difficulty attracting and engaging new generations of visitors and supporters. This challenge isn’t… Read more »

Ten Books to Contextualize Reconciliation in Archives, Museums, and Public History

Krista McCracken In June 2015 following the closing event of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada I wrote an Active History post about “The Role of Canada’s Museums and Archives in Reconciliation.” Over a year has passed since the TRC concluded its work and much of what I wrote in that post is still true. I still wholeheartedly agree… Read more »

Shuttering Archives: A UNESCO Recognized Collection to Close its Doors to the Public

Thomas Peace Last month I spent two weeks working in one of my favourite archives: Le Centre de référence de l’Amérique francophone. This archive – run by Quebec’s Museum of Civilization – is one of the oldest in the country, not only holding the records of the Quebec Seminary (which begin in 1623), but also many important documents related to New… Read more »

Reports from New Directions in Active History: Memory, Museums, and the Politics of the Past

By Jodi Giesbrecht One of the many important conversations held during the ‘New Directions in Active History’ conference considered the evolving ways in which historical knowledge is represented and contested in public spaces and how, as historians, we might participate in such discourses and actively engage with broader audiences. My panel, “Histories, Memories and Museums,” examined the role of museums in… Read more »