history history relevance museums pragmatic historian using history

The Curse of Sensationalized History

Upon the recommendation of others, my husband started watching The Curse of Oak Island recently. This is a reality show series from The History Channel wherein a couple of brothers and their team search a 140-acre island off the coast of Nova Scotia for a supposed buried treasure. The search for this treasure has occurred by various parties over the past 200 years. My husband got a few episodes in before I sat down to…

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Pursuing Members from a Niche History Market

Leading a local historical society, as I do, creating long-term financial stability for the organization is always on my mind. At this time of year, so is membership, particularly figuring out how to increase the number of members. Members, especially those who remain members over a long period of time, are not only the lifeblood of historical societies, they add immeasurably to the organization in terms of moral, financial, and other forms of support. Colleen…

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Libraries Versus Museums, Round 2

Welcome to Round 2 in the cage match between libraries and museums. In March 2019 in a post called “Libraries Versus Museums,” I discussed an article from CityLab about how public and private data should be handled by the highly trusted public libraries because there was no other model out there for handling such data … except that there is. History museums regularly handle public and private data. That, apparently, was Round 1 in the…

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Museum Subsidies

Okay, one more post related to the Minnesota Alliance of Local History Museums conference, then I will be on to other things. (See how much fodder a conference can provide for a blog?) While I work at a museum and my employer could have paid for my attendance at the conference, I chose to pay for the conference and its related expenses (hotel, mileage, meals) personally. Why? One major reason, but there is an ancillary…

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Leaving Breadcrumbs: Succession Planning the Hansel & Gretel Way

In my last blog post, I discussed attending the 2019 annual conference of the Minnesota Alliance of Local History Museums at Treasure Island Resort & Casino. While that post covered the sessions I attended, I also led a session and figured that warranted its own blog post, which is what this post is devoted to. My session, “Leaving Breadcrumbs: Succession Planning the Hansel & Gretel Way,” appears on page 20 of the conference guide. My…

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