Category Archives: Museums

When Twitter+History=Awesome: #AskHenryVIII

I have been on Twitter (@a_williams06 and @MyLifeIsHistory) for over four years now, and I find it awesome. I use my personal account to keep tabs on friends, institutions, favorite artists and celebrities, causes I care about, etc. My “professional” account (the one I use for this blog) is used for following Twitter accounts that have a historical focus. These include museums, individuals, universities, professional organizations, and so forth. Mostly I post links to articles, but occasionally I’ll put in more personal tweets. Sometimes, Twitter can be put to use as a method of historical conversations… Continue reading When Twitter+History=Awesome: #AskHenryVIII

Sutton Hoo, treasure hunters and a lucky escape

I’ve seen the Sutton Hoo treasure at the British Museum! I experienced the exhibit back in September 2010 when I arrived in England to study at Lancaster University for a semester. Hearing so much about it and then seeing it made me want to study Anglo-Saxon England more, as it did the curator of the collection and author of this blog post.

Interestingly, it is a dream of mine to work at the museum one day, even as a volunteer. I love English history, and to be able to interact with old treasures such as these would be incredible.

British Museum blog

Sutton Hoo helmet Sue Brunning, curator, British Museum

Fifteen years ago I visited the British Museum as an undergraduate. As someone who’d most recently studied the English Civil War, I’d taken a course on Anglo-Saxon England because I was curious to learn what life was like at a time when the date only had three numbers in it. Our professor brought us to Room 41, the gallery of Early Medieval Europe – and there I had a fateful encounter with the Sutton Hoo ship burial. Dating to the early AD 600s, this remarkable Anglo-Saxon grave in Suffolk was arranged inside a 27-metre-long ship and covered with an earth mound, known to posterity as ‘Mound 1’. The burial’s spectacular nature has fuelled speculation that it belonged to a king of East Anglia. Seeing it back then for the first time, I was genuinely inspired. I’ve studied the Anglo-Saxons ever since.

Curators Sue Brunning (r) and Rosie Weetch (l) installing the Sutton Hoo helmet in the gallery Curators Sue Brunning (r)…

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Vikings at the British Museum; World War I portraits; and, Ruin Lust…

If you visited the exhibit, what did you think?

Exploring London

RoskildeThe Vikings come to the British Museum from today with the first major exhibition in more than 30 years. Vikings: life and legend , the first exhibition to be held in the new Sainsbury Exhibition Gallery, was developed with the National Museum of Denmark and the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (National Museums in Berlin) and looks at the Viking period from the late 8th century to the early 11th century. Featuring many new archaeological discoveries and objects never seen before in the UK alongside items from the British Museum’s own collection, the exhibition is centred on the surviving timbers of a 37 metre long Viking warship excavated from the banks of the Roskilde fjord in Denmark (pictured). Other items include skeletons recently excavated from a mass grave of executed Vikings in Dorset, the Vale of York Hoard (discovered in 2007) and a stunning hoard of silver from Gnezdovo in…

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Tilting at Windmills, Part Three

This is a fascinating article about the controversies surrounding taking photographs in museums, particularly art ones. I will refrain from my own personal views, but I will say I agree with almost all of the author’s assertions. What are your thoughts?

Thinking about museums

This is the third and final part of a series of posts on issues in museums that I thought warranted a bit of unpacking. In the first post, I looked at “immersion” and at “experience” and “participation” in the second. I wanted to understand more about visitor picture taking in museums and this is the result. There’s a lot of rhetoric expended on condemning or extolling the practice, but not as much trying to get at why people take out the camera and click in a museum.

In this super-long post, which I beg your forgiveness for not making shorter or breaking into pieces, I want to explore the positions of the pro and anti visitor photography lobbies, make some observations and then look at the underlying motivations. In the end, I’ll propose that digital souvenirs are just the latest way people in museums memorialize the event, and that the social…

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The Importance of Being Earnest: Entering the Museum Field, Part Three

Now, if only I could get a job here…

So the last two posts in this series have covered a lot of ground. The first one discussed museum trends, and the second covered some factors many museum professionals had in varying degrees as identified by Dr. Paul F. Marty. This last post describes ways in which a student interested in entering the museum field can get their footing. Most of these are common sense, but it never hurts to start dabbling too early in one’s college career.

Continue reading The Importance of Being Earnest: Entering the Museum Field, Part Three

The Importance of Being Earnest: Entering the Museum Field, Part Two

Outside the British Museum

In my last post on entering the museum field, I discussed the trends of library, archives, and museum studies education/training as diverging paths rather than integrating ones, based upon an article by J. Trant. Also, I included my own personal experiences in the greater Milwaukee area and my own struggles with choosing graduate programs to apply for.

Continue reading The Importance of Being Earnest: Entering the Museum Field, Part Two

The Importance of Being Earnest: Entering the Museum Field, Part One

Image courtesy of TripAdvisor.com

Yep, it’s another two- or three-entry post, this time about entering the museum field. I’ve been doing research and gathering information about the museum field and education paths since the end of my freshman year in college. One would think it’s a simple matter of getting a master’s degree in history or museum studies and voilá! one can easily find a job. But that is not the case.

Continue reading The Importance of Being Earnest: Entering the Museum Field, Part One