Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Museum Moments - Engage, Collaborate, and Share

It's important to keep things fresh in museums, offering new content and thinking about ways to engage, collaborate, and share our knowledge with each other. Temporary exhibits are a great opportunity for community engagement and to generate interest. The development of temporary exhibits that focus on local history and stories leads to new content, discussion, and memorable experience for visitors. A great example comes from the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame with the launch of a temporary exhibit featuring the work of Bruce MacKinnon in July this year.

“Sports Illustrated: The Nova Scotia Edition”--- Collection of Bruce MacKinnon originals to be exhibited at the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame:

"His work has been a daily fixture in many Nova Scotians’ lives for decades-- Bruce MacKinnon brings humorous, witty and poignant commentary to the pages of The Chronicle Herald with his skillful editorial cartoons. The Hall of Fame will be unveiling a new temporary exhibit in summer 2019 that features a selection of MacKinnon’s greatest sport cartoons. We are very pleased to be able to work with MacKinnon, The Chronicle Herald, StFX and private lenders to share this incredible collection of original drawings. Expect to take a stroll down memory lane with familiar faces and newsworthy moments that are equally thought provoking and amusing. The exhibit opens in July."

The official launch on July 15th featured a Q&A with Bruce MacKinnon himself. This temporary exhibit demonstrates the power of community partnerships and the importance of working with others to showcase local history. This exhibit is running from July 2019 - 2020.

Another notable mention is the Halifax Sport Heritage Walking Tour, which encourage you to visit historic sporting sites in the city. The NSSHF took this one step further by creating a new gallery on NovaMuse highlighting items in their collection with ties to the stories featured in the walking tour. This same approach can be taken for temporary exhibits. Why not create a place for your exhibit to live on using NovaMuse? 

The Cumberland County Museum hosted a travelling exhibit from July 26th-October 6th: "Enemy Aliens: Internment in Canada, 1914-1920," by the Canadian War Museum in partnership with the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Foundation. According to an article by the The Chronicle Herald, "One of the largest camps was in Amherst, located between Park Street, Patterson Street and the rail line, and had a population of 853 men. It closed in September 1919." It's important to look for connections to local history when considering temporary exhibits and this is a great example of this approach.

Past "What is it?" Cabinet -
West Hants Historical Society 
Looking to make an exhibit more interactive? Why not consider building a 'What is it?' and 'Who am I?' temporary exhibit, which encourages visitors to fill in the gaps. Don't know an object's history of use? when it was made? who made it? Ask your visitors. Not only will you be pleasantly surprised by what you learn during this process, it is another opportunity for participation. Many of our Advisory Service sites see positive results when they ask the public to help identify unknown items or individuals in photographs. This can be done both onsite and online.

Remember to include a link to the record on NovaMuse in your social media posts! This directs your audience to the online record, which often contains more detailed information. Crowd-sourcing information is a fantastic way to encourage the public to contribute their own knowledge and invest in your collections.