Museums collect artifacts and mementos to preserve history. These items tell stories of famous people and things. The monetary value of artifacts and mementos is not important to the museums. They get donations to collect a new artifact or memento. The museums have special guidelines for collecting the objects and they must adhere to them.
It is not possible to preserve everything old. The museum needs to be selective. One criterion is to make sure that the artifact or memento relates to the museum’s mission.
For example, Michigan History Museum wants to preserve more things related to the history of Michigan. So, such artifacts and mementos will be of interest to them. They will try to find out whether the artifact or memento is in anyway related to Michigan.
Another criterion is to find out whether the artifact or memento has a historical value. It should signify an important event and time in history. So, museums will collect it if it has historical value.
Next, the artifact or memento must have informational value as well. It must tell a story to show how valuable it is and why. If it doesn’t have any informational value then the visitors won’t find them interesting.
The museum authorities have to scrutinize every artifact or memento they collect very carefully. They don’t want to keep something in the museum that has no historical or informational value.
People must be eager to visit the museum because they will find something interesting and valuable. Visiting a museum may require selective attention. Patrons may need to visit a few times and choose specific sections or time periods to view. Without selective attention, it may be overwhelming, and a lot of great information may get lost.
History museums display various artifacts and mementos for people to see. Various educational resources are also available there so that people can learn new things. Here are some resources that you can find there.
Virtual school programs
This program is for school students. You can bring students to the free and interactive programs of the museum. The museum educators will conduct virtual private classes using Zoom Meetings. The students can take part in the discussions, question and answer rounds, and interact with the facilitators.
Live museum presentations
Students can participate in the live virtual museum presentations. These presentations can be seen in multiple classrooms simultaneously. During the presentation, students or teachers won’t be able to talk, but they can type questions which will be answered later on.
These workshops will provide a connection between the classwork curriculum and the museum exhibits, artifacts, and mementos. There will be workshops on various topics related to the museum.
The workshops can be for both children and adults. Here you will learn about the various resources of the museum and the outcomes of research done by the museum experts.
These educational resources of the history museums are very valuable. You should join these programs and workshops and learn more about historical facts and figures.
Many artifacts become endangered if proper care is not taken to preserve them. Four museums from the Roanoke Valley made it on the list of the endangered artifacts in Virginia.
National D-Day Memorial
Bob Slaughter, the D-Day veteran kept a memento of his wartime service. Before the invasion, US Gen. Dwight Eisenhower sent an ‘Order of the Day’ to the troops which 75 comrades including Bob Slaughter had to sign. Slaughter saved that letter and framed it.
After he died in 2012, his family found it among his belongings. A professional conservator is needed to take the document out of the frame without damaging it and it would cost a lot. So, if steps are not taken to preserve it, the letter will be lost forever.
Taubman Museum of Art
Here you will find the photographs and negatives of Peggy Macdowell Thomas. These include portraits by Thomas Eakins and his wife Susan Eakins, two great American painters.
The photographs included family portraits that were used by Eakins to help them in painting. These photographs are in freezer condition and they need to be stabilized and reproduced.
History Museum of Western Virginia
Here there is a black and red striped silk wedding dress from 1858 that was worn in New York for a wedding. The wealthy families then took the dress for one day rent to wear as a day dress. The dress has shown signs of damage and needs to be repaired.
Funds are needed to conserve these artifacts. Otherwise, they will be damaged soon and it won’t be possible to recover them.