Friday, June 11, 2010

Sharing our Stories

As many of you know, I’ve been working on a museum guide to internet marketing.  This has involved a lot of reading and a lot of thinking about museum stuff and stories that can be shared through social media.  One thing that recently popped into my head was something I’ve heard several times at conferences and events.  Apparently, almost all museum workers can pinpoint the memorable moment in their life (almost always around the age of 7) where they fell in love with heritage.  So that got me thinking.  Wouldn't it be cool to document and share those stories?  That of course led me to wondering what my moment was.

Surprisingly, it was very easy to recall.  My moment was at Fort Anne in Annapolis Royal.  I distinctly remember looking down from the top of the earthworks at an archaeological dig.  I asked my dad what the people were doing, he explained it to me, and that was it.  I was hooked.  I had to go home and start digging (luckily I stumbled upon a midden at the back of our property or I would have been sorely disappointed).

The thrill of discovering something, whether while digging or wandering through a museum, has never left me.  Not only are there some very nifty objects in our Nova Scotian collections, but there are a surprising number of unassuming, everyday items that have amazing stories.  Have you seen the crucifix in LaHave that was coughed up by a codfish?  What about the purse at the Army Museum that was fashioned from a sash worn by a soldier at the Battle of Waterloo?  Did you know that there's a letter opener in Barrington made from a man's rib?  Don't worry, he gave it freely.  The point is that at first glance there is nothing extraordinary about these objects, but the story of each one is very memorable and sure to get a reaction from the audience.

As I've been conducting site visits this season I've asked museums about their interesting stories, and I think it's time that we have a bit of fun with the fact that nothing is as it seems.

So what was your magic moment?  What are the unique stories that need to be told?

1 comment:

Lynn MacEachern said...

Great blog Karin. I am having trouble pin-pointing my 'moment' but I will get back to you when I do.