Christmas is upon us yet again. That season of tradition and timeless classics. In that spirit we at the American Hysterical Society wanted to share our suggestion for a new and improved museum holiday tradition, which you can find here.
It’s December, which means the Christmas season has descended upon museums, leaving little time and energy for anything other than decorating and special events. So this is just a drive-by posting to let you know we added a couple of new titles to our Library collection, including
A Complete History of America (Abridged) to our National Histories collection.
Forgotten Fashions: An Illustrated Faux History of Outrageous Trends and Their Untimely Demise to our Art, Artifacts, & Architecture collection.
This holiday season the AHS staff will be working to develop an effective interpretive method to explain to some of our visitors that Xmas does not take the Christ out of Christmas (also here and here) because the abbreviation is rooted in Christian history, not modern politics. In order to prepare these visitors for the resulting shock, we plan to preface our program with the following:
Which was yesterday, here are some recently recovered Zapruder home movies.
Mantique, n. An antique or collectible that appeals mainly to men, such as old fishing rods & lures, pin-up calendars, tools, toy cars, etc.
For the source and other definitions of this word, see the Urban Dictionary.
One of the stated goals of the American Hysterical Society is to demonstrate that poking fun at the history and museum professions is an old and easy amusement. Our research has indicated three reasons for this. First, the moment one becomes interested in the past they become different than everyone else, and different usually translates as odd. Secondly, throughout history (and continuing to today) anyone who has read a couple of old books or collects antiques can call themselves a scholar of the past. Third, and lastly, that much of the research done by historians and antiquarians has always seemed to non-history people to be so esoteric as to be incomprehensible, useless, or boring.
‘Twas ever thus, as our newest collections piece demonstrates. Here, from the June 1st, 1812 edition of The Scourge: Or, Monthly Expositor of Imposture and Folly, is a look at Britain’s Antiquarian Society. Apart from the flowery language and some unfamiliar proper nouns, we think this piece will feel very familiar to modern history and museum professionals.