As my work at the museum continues, so does cataloging. Still, it is very interesting every time picking up a new photograph and trying to find out its exact location and purpose. Sometimes it takes only a second to figure it out and other times it takes some digging to find it. Issues that I have been having include coming up empty when I do the research for a photograph. Sometimes the photo is just too vague and other times it’s the handwriting on the back. Mostly it is the handwriting that always leaves me stumped. Sometimes it’s too faded and other times the writing looks to be written in something other than English. As time goes on interpreting old handwriting has improved.
Due to a sudden and unexpected short illness my outside research wasn’t too extensive. However I got to catch up on some reading in the book Letting Go: Sharing Historical Authority in a User-Generated World. So far I have been able to fully read through most of the first 3 sections of the book, Virtual Breaking Down: Authority and the Web, Throwing Open the Doors: Communities as Curators and Hearing Voices: Sharing Authority through Oral History. Today I mostly focused on the articles in the Throwing Open the Doors, and Hearing Voices sections. In the article The “Dialogic Museum” Revisited: A Collaborative Reflection by John Kuo Wei Tchen and Liz Ševčenko, Ševčenko mentioned a lot about the importance of Dialogic museums. Dialogic museums are museums that try to shine a light on a topic of a moment in the past that has been overlooked and brought back to life by people’s memories and shared learning. The article about this sparked an interest in me to examine more about dialogic museums. To start, I went on Google and did a search of dialogic museums. Searching on Google turned out to be a success as I found several different articles about dialogic museums and have provided the links below to a couple of the different articles I have read.
Furthermore, in my readings I found out that museums shouldn’t just be looking to improve their exhibits and visitor contribution only online. Making connections and offering community projects and events may be the best ways to keep visitors from coming back in the doors. In the article Moving Pictures: Minnesota’s Most Rewarding Film Competition by Randal Dietrich, Dietrich explains how the Minnesota Historical Society used a film competition about Minnesotans from the World War 2 generation. This program was very interesting an innovative. It allowed everyday people to learn not just about film and filmmaking, but mostly about history through the eyes and experiences of the people within their community. As my reading continues I am learning about more and more projects museums are doing that are creative, innovative and interactive.