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The Whaling Museum’s Collections Development Plan, done!

The Whaling Museum’s Collections Development Plan, done!

  It’s done! For the past year or so I’ve been working with staff and other Collections Committee members at the New Bedford Whaling Museum on a new collections development plan. It’s been an interesting experience. Collections development plans are a fairly new thing for museums. They are part of a general transition in how museums think of collections. Stephen Weil’s famous 1999 essay sums it up: “From Being about Something to Being for Somebody.” Museums once existed for their collections….

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The Find-me-another machine (On Search)

The Find-me-another machine (On Search)

[my presentation at the RISD Museum / Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology “On Search” Conference] I’d like to tell you about the new machine I just invented. It’s called the “find me another” machine. The portable version I brought with me happens to be just the right size for the objects we’ve heard about today. Here’s how it works. First, you set some sliding switches on the front of the machine. And then you take an object – a Maori feather…

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“The Curator Rules”

“The Curator Rules”

These are the slides and my notes from my talk at Marymount University, the Bissel Lecture in the Humanities, presented April 10 as part of the Virginia Humanities Conference. My thanks to Tonya Howe for the invitation, to Marymount for their hospitality, and to the audience for its good questions. [scribd id=261593303 key=key-Cnl9rhuKTMbfV4vLycxp mode=scroll] NOTE: The next entry in this blog is a corrected and expanded version of this talk.

Seven Rules for Public Humanists

Seven Rules for Public Humanists

  If we want the humanities to be more than academic—if we want them to make a difference in the world—we need to change the way we work. We need to rethink some of the traditional assumptions of the humanities. I suggest here seven rules of thumb for doing public humanities. 1. It’s not about you Start not by looking at what you, your discipline, or the university needs and wants, but by what individuals and communities outside the university need…

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