Weekend Work 7-21-14: A New Collections Item, A Few Bits of Interest, and Joyful Museuming

Like many museums, there is a fine line between what we actually collect and what it seems we collect. Fortunately we have a well-defined mission statement.

As we're an online museum we're trying to make sure we don't develop a digital version of this.

As we’re an online museum we’re trying to make sure we don’t develop the digital equivalent of this.

For instance, we just added a great cartoon series Johnson & Boswell to the history section of our Links page. The artist puts Boswell and Johnson (and their various bon mots) into anachronistic situations throughout time to humorous effect without trying to educate or interpret history.

At the same time we found Johson & Boswell, we ran across the museum, history, and art sites below, all of  which use humor, but do so with the serious intention of passing along actual content or informed opinion.

Cathedral-Licking Diary

The Grumpy Art Historian

Standup For Woodhorn Museum’s comedian in residence

These sites are all fun, but they don’t meet our mission. At least we don’t think they do (don’t look too closely at the contents of our links page, ok).

We also recently came across the new Joyful Museums website, whose author believes, “that keeping [museum] workers happy, despite grim economic and other circumstances, should be the top priority of every museum.” As you can see, their mission stands in stark contrast to ours. Still, like us, they’re here to help.

To demonstrate that we are two sides of the same coin, we have each developed a survey for creating a more nuanced understanding of modern museum work. You can choose to take their survey or ours. Either way, we think you will find it beneficial (though ours is shorter. Much, much shorter).

PS We would also like to thank Joyful Museums for including us on their Resources For Individuals page, under Bookmark These Websites. You are too kind.

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About T.H. Gray

T.H. Gray is the self-appointed court jester and Dr. Demento for the history museum field. A lifelong museum professional and reenactor, he is a graduate of the prestigious Peale-Barnum Public History Museum Studies Program. Until 2011, when the AHS hired him away, he was on staff at the Benjamin Dover Memorial Museum & Swimming Pool ("Our History is All Wet!"). He remembers when museums were still about history, science, and art. BTW, all of these posts say they are by T.H. Gray because he can't turn off the byline. Credit, when due, is given. View all posts by T.H. Gray

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