Museum Archipelago

Museum Archipelago
Guiding you through the rocky landscape of museums. New episodes every other Monday.
44. Vassil Makarinov Presents Technology and History at the Bulgarian Polytechnical Museum
Jun 11 • 11 min
In this episode, curator Vassil Macaranov describes how the increasing role of technology in our lives underscores the importance of presenting scientific and technological artifacts with their historical contexts.
43. Blake Bradford Aims To Increase Number of Black Museum Professionals with Lincoln University Program
May 28 • 11 min
Blake Bradford is the director of that Museum Studies Program, a partnership between Lincoln University and Barnes Foundation. In this episode, Bradford describes ways to change museum institutions that are already successful. He also talks about museums…
42. Freddi Williams Evans and Luther Gray Are Erecting Historic Markers on the Slave Trade in New Orleans
May 14 • 13 min
The New Orleans Committee to Erect Historic Markers on the Slave Trade has recently put up two new markers, one on the transatlantic slave trade along the Moonwalk and another on the domestic slave trade at the intersection of Esplanade Avenue and…
41. 16,000 Years at the Meadowcroft Rockshelter with David Scofield
Apr 30 • 9 min
David Scofield, director of the Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village, describes how the museum is designed to connect the big changes in how people lived through 16000 years of history. The Meadowcroft Rockshelter opens for its 50th season on May…
40. Conserving Digital Photos with Jenny Mathiasson and Kloe Rumsey
Apr 16 • 9 min
Each episode features a different hot topic in the conservation world, and the podcast stands out for its hosts willingness to tackle complex topics. In this episode, the hosts discuss whether photos are data or objects, the Digitized Photograph Project…
39. Hans Sloane and the Origins of the British Museum with James Delbourgo
Apr 2 • 12 min
James Delbourgo, professor of History of Science and Atlantic World at Rutgers University, is the author of Collecting the World: Hans Sloane and the Origins of the British Museum. In this episode, Delbourgo describes Sloane’s formative years in Jamaica,…
38. Conservation in the 21st Century with Sanchita Balachandran
Mar 19 • 13 min
From her 2016 talk at the American Institute for Conservation’s Annual Meeting, to teaching her students how to interrogate an object in person, to her Untold Stories project, Balachandran has thought critically about the role of conservators. In this…
37. The National Public Housing Museum with Robert J. Smith III
Mar 5 • 13 min
It would have been much easier to build the National Public Housing Museum from scratch instead of building it in the last remaining building of the Jane Addams Homes, one of the first public housing development in Chicago. But doing so would have…
36. The Underground Railroad in Niagara Falls with Bill Bradberry
Feb 19 • 12 min
Bill Bradberry, the President and Chairman of the Niagara Falls Underground Railroad Heritage Area Commission, thinks of the entire city of Niagara Falls, NY as an open crime scene from “the crime of holding people in bondage, and the man-made crime of…
35. Cartoons from the Museum Floor with Attendants View
Feb 5 • 10 min
The comics show confused visitors, tourists asking the same questions over and over again, and museum board members flouting the rules. The writer and illustrator behind Attendants View has been creating comics about her experiences in museums for the…
34. Erotic Heritage Museum with Dr. Victoria Hartmann
Jan 22 • 7 min
Dr. Hartmann thinks museums too often tell the visitor what to think. She would rather use visitors’ responses to the galleries as a starting point to further discussions. At the Erotic Heritage Museum, there is a lot to react to: a statue of Donald Trump…
33. Icelandic Museums with Hannah Hethmon
Jan 8 • 12 min
Hannah Hethmon, an American museum professional and Fulbright Fellow living in Reykjavík, was interested in this abundance of museums and the nature of museum tourism in Iceland. Her Fulbright project is the podcast Museums in Strange Places, which…
32. Lunar Human Heritage Sites with Michelle Hanlon
Dec 25, 2017 • 13 min
What humans left behind on the moon are part of our human heritage, on par with Laetoli and Lascaux. Unlike human heritage sites on earth, the lunar landing sites are pristine, completely untouched by natural erosion or human disruption. But the lunar…
31. Habemus with Romina Frontini & Christian Díaz
Dec 11, 2017 • 11 min
The title is a play on words — linking the Spanish word “museos” with the Latin verb “we have.” Since the show is on a popular radio station, Habemus team members Romina Frontini and Christian Díaz say it’s up to them to introduce museum topics to a…
30. Visitors of Color with Dr. Porchia Moore
Nov 6, 2017 • 11 min
Visitors of Color is a Tumblr project that documents the perspectives and experiences of marginalized people in museums. It is a record of what the museum experience can be like for people who are often discussed but whose voices are rarely privileged,…
29. A Digital Approach to Museum Maps
Oct 23, 2017 • 4 min
We should pay close attention to mental map matching. Museum visitors have their own sense of geography and marked by their own lived experiences. What feels like an important city landmark to one person isn’t even on the radar for another. To account for…
28. Leaving the Museum Field with Marieke Van Damme
Oct 9, 2017 • 11 min
Executive Director of the Cambridge Historical Society Marieke Van Damme affectionately calls anyone working in the museum field “Museum People.” On her excellent podcast of the same name, she interviews museum people every episode. Many museum people are…
27. Yo, Museum Professionals
Sep 11, 2017 • 4 min
Today’s students learn complex concepts that kids weren’t exposed to a generation ago. Even basic knowledge of science today requires a deep understanding of systems and ecosystems and how they interact at different scales. Interactive screens provide the…
26. Arab American National Museum with Devon Akmon
Aug 28, 2017 • 12 min
The museum defines the Arab World as 22 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Southeast Michigan has the highest concentration of people from the Arab World in North America, and much of the social, religious, cultural, and commercial enterprises…
25. Museum of Socialist Art in Sofia, Bulgaria
Jul 17, 2017 • 7 min
Bulgaria doesn’t have a history museum that explores its communist past. The Museum of Socialist Art doesn’t fill that void, exactly: it is an extension of the Bulgarian National Gallery of Art. In this episode, museum director Nikolai Ushtavaliiski and…
24. College Hill and the International Slave Trade Walking Tour with Elon Cook
Jul 3, 2017 • 10 min
Elon Cook created College Hill and the International Slave Trade walking tour in Providence after researching the crucial and massive role that Rhode Island played in the history of slavery.
23. Museum-Metro Station Hybrids
Jun 5, 2017 • 5 min
The agendas of archaeologists and metro builders are often contradictory. Metro builders want to proceed quickly, while archaeological examination can be extremely time consuming. After the construction finished, however, Sofia’s Serdika station resolved…
22. Guide Training at Akagera National Park with Lisa Brochu
May 15, 2017 • 10 min
At Akagara National Park, park-employed and community freelance guides are the ones doing that communication. By working with them, Lisa hopes visitors’ experience in Akegara will stick with them longer. Lisa teaches that instead of rattling off a list of…
21. Apollo 11 Historic Site
May 1, 2017 • 5 min
The Apollo 11 site is special. No matter how the human experiment turns out, the site will represent the first step off earth. Now Tranquility Base is a pile of historical artifacts in their original context. Even the astronauts’ footprints in the…
20. Universal Design at the White House Visitor Center with Sherril York
Apr 18, 2017 • 9 min
In this episode, based on her case study for the fall 2015 issue of the Exhibitionist, Dr. York describes the process of working on alternative navigation methods at the visitor center, describes the meaning of universal design, and underscores the…
19. Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre with Honoré Gatera
Apr 3, 2017 • 14 min
When the Kigali Genocide Memorial was first built in 1999, it was a burial site outside the Rwandan capitol city for thousands of victims of the 1994 genocide. Rwandans came to visit the final resting place of friends and family. Today, the city has…
18. Maps and the 20th Century at the British Library
Feb 27, 2017 • 4 min
In a museum context, however, it can be tempting to present a map as the source of truth.
17. Entertainment and History at Disney’s America
Feb 6, 2017 • 6 min
In 1994, Disney was hard at work on a new theme park called Disney’s America. The park, which would open in Virginia not far from Washington DC, would showcase the “sweep of American History.” Confident and enthusiastic, Disney executives were walking a…
16. Visitation Trends at the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Seminole Indian Museum
Jan 16, 2017 • 11 min
Carrie Dilley, Visitor Services and Development Manager at the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki museum, compiles data collected from visitors. Last year, she discovered that visitors from one third of countries visited the museum, including a surprising number of Europeans.…
15. Tamar Avishai’s The Lonely Palette
Jan 2, 2017 • 12 min
The Lonely Palette is the best museum podcast out there. Host Tamar Avishai wants to make art more accessible and to help people feel more comfortable talking about what they see in museums. She uses her experience as a Spotlight Lecturer at the Museum of…
14. Early Interpretive Planning at the National Museum of African American History and Culture
Dec 12, 2016 • 11 min
National Museum of African American History and Culture opened on the National Mall in September 2016. Today we will talk to some of the people who were thinking about the museum in 2007.
13. Museums at a Crossroads with Rainey Tisdale
Jun 23, 2016 • 4 min
12. Dead Bodies in Museums Part 2
May 24, 2016 • 7 min
The American Association of Museums has this to say about human remains in its code of ethics: “The unique and special nature of human remains and funerary and sacred objects is recognized as the basis of all decisions concerning such collections…
11. Dead Bodies in Museums Part 1
Apr 22, 2016 • 6 min
When Robert Peary brought six Inuits from Greenland back from his Arctic expedition, they landed in the care of the American Museum of Natural History. Among these people were an eight year old boy named Minik and his father Qisuk. After Qisuk became ill…
10. Framework For Engaging with Art
Apr 4, 2016 • 9 min
The Dallas Museum of Art has determined that visitors fall into one of four clusters, based on their preferred learning styles. While she was director of the museum, Bonnie Pitman applied the results of the survey to make the museum more engaging to all…
9. The Museum Selfie
Mar 11, 2016 • 4 min
Dustin Growick of Museum Hack finds that selfies can create a personally engaging experience within the context of a museum.
8. Calatrava and the Museum Icon
Feb 10, 2016 • 6 min
This week, we visit two museum works by architect Santiago Calatrava: the Prince Philip Museum of Science in Valencia, Spain and the Milwaukee Art Museum in Milwaukee, USA. Both museums look nothing like the museum icon on maps and in mapping programs. Do…
7. What Happens to Dead Amusement Parks?
Jan 27, 2016 • 8 min
This week, special guest Carole Sanderson of the National Roller Coaster Museum and Archives describes the process and challenges of documenting the entertainment industry.
6. Muzeiko
Sep 30, 2015 • 6 min
Until Muzeiko opens in Sofia, Bulgaria later this week, there were no children’s museums in the Balkans. Vessels Gercheva, the Programs and Exhibits Director for Muzeiko says that one of the reasons for the lack of children’s museums is a cultural…
5. StalinWorld
Jul 24, 2015 • 7 min
Go to the central square of any Soviet influenced country like Lithuania, and you will find empty pedestals. The pedestals used hold monuments to Soviet leaders. Where there once were statues of Lenin and Stalin, you now find overgrown bushes and pop-up…
4. Bison Hunt on Horseback
May 27, 2015 • 6 min
3. Authority
May 5, 2015 • 10 min
As you empty your pockets, how you lay their contents on the table reflects how you value their differences and interpret their functions. When we go into a museum, we trust that objects are laid out across the table with some expertise. Who gets to…
2. Labels
Apr 15, 2015 • 5 min
Early 20th century cartoons showed exhausted visitors craning their necks to read labels and stopping over to examine artifacts. 100 years later, have we made progress?
1. Lobby
Apr 3, 2015 • 3 min
The lobby is where you transform from an ordinary person into a museum visitior.