My twitter followers will know that over the past year or so I’ve been posting primary sources from the history of museums. My apologies to those who find their timelines clogged with selections from the museum debates of yesteryear, and my thanks to those who have let me know that they’ve enjoyed my odd hobby.
Some background: I’m working on a book on museums that includes a bit of history, and so I’ve found myself exploring the nineteenth and twentieth century museum literature. I am surprised by how much seems of interest to today’s museum debates, and often find myself carried away far beyond what’s useful for my book.
And so why not share it with my twitter friends? Cut out a bit of the text using cmd-shift-4 (or photograph it from the book), paste into the tweet. Add a source so that anyone who’s interested can learn more (footnoting is important in primary-source twitter!) Add a brief description for those who don’t see the image in their twitter stream, and to explain things, and to make it seem interesting.
Next step: to turn these into a timeline. It’s easy to download from storify. Someday I’ll do that, and make a timeline of museum history out of them. Not the history of exhibits, collections, and education, but the history of the debate over exhibits, collection, and education.
I just have to find time to turn the json into a google spreadsheet, and then a google spreadsheet into a timeline… Any volunteers? Or, you can just wait until my book is out…
As I research my book on museums I tweet some of my sources. Gathering them here for your museum-history pleasure.