Tag Archives: museums

The Local Spaces of National Museums

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by Carly Ciufo Thomas is right: Community is a tricky concept. I want to talk about finding community at the national level. It’s neither quite as small as a family unit nor as large as some broader cosmopolitan imagining of shared humanity, but it is nevertheless a crucial element of museum building in the twenty-first century. Community is an especially… Read more »

Historia Nostra: Getting Living History Right at Plimoth Patuxet OR Plimoth Patuxet vs. Jamestown Settlement, a comparison

This post is part of a monthly series introducing new videos in Erin Isaac’s Historia Nostra public history project. Of all the living history museums in the United States, Jamestown Settlement in Virginia and Plimoth Patuxet in Massachusetts are arguably the most famous. Understandably, these museums are very frequently compared. Both were built in the 1970s. Both recreate early Anglo-American colonial… Read more »

Introducing Historia Nostra: Episode 1

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How is history taught at heritage sites and museums in North America? What can the history of museums and heritage sites tell us about how they operate today? And how do other resources, like historically-based films, allow us to access history at home? These are all questions explored on Historia Nostra, a new YouTube channel about North American history. Historia… Read more »

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 »