The 11th Hour

Written by Dale Ogden, chief curator of cultural history at the Indiana State Museum

I haven’t had a chance to blog for the past few weeks; not because there hasn’t been anything to say, just the opposite — we’re in full hyper-drive. I appreciate Traci covering for me in the blogosphere.

Except for last minute tweaks, the script is finished and ready to go to the printer. Most of our exhibit labels are brief and basic. This is the first time I’ve really been able to expound. Thanks to the Library of Congress producing about 35,000 words for their show, I’ve been able to write 16,000 for ours. After 25 years, I can finally say, “I’ve said just about everything I have to say on this subject … for now.” Thanks to Susannah for editing me. Any halfway decent writer will tell you that, next to their spouse, their editor is the most important person in their life. If I wasn’t already happily married, I’d ask S.K. tomorrow. She may not have saved my life, but she at least salvaged my reputation.

New media production is going great. NASCAR’s Tony Stewart, WNBA star Tamika Catchings, PBS commentator Tavis Smiley and astronaut David Wolf are just a few of the Hoosiers who’ve cut videos for our Lincoln trivia kiosk. We have additional celebs lined up, just working on schedules. We had to move the kiosk out of the gallery and into a lobby because we don’t want to create a traffic jam with the people using it. Popularity is a nice problem to have to overcome.

Custom-made display cases are arriving from Germany today. They may be on the loading dock as I write. If they are, that will be a huge relief. If they’re here that means they’re not on a railroad siding outside of Baltimore. Would have been a shame to have our icons in custom mounts laid out on folding tables … not to mention a security nightmare. Just kidding … sort of.

I promise to be a more diligent blogger. Come see us! Feb. 12 through July 25! Oh, and happy holidays!

The Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection was given to the State of Indiana in December 2008 by the Lincoln Financial Foundation. The Indiana State Museum is home to the historic objects and art while most of the books, documents and photographs reside at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Advertisements

The Other Side of Archaeology

By Katie Barbour, Archaeology Laboratory Analyst

It starts in a field. A hiker notices ancient pot fragments sticking out of a river bank. A road crew uncovers a forgotten homestead. An archaeologist discovers a disturbed area under ground using ground penetrating radar. Then the work crews come in with their shovels, trowels, buckets, screens, Munsell books and journals. Out of the ground and into bags go ceramic, glass, metal, stone, animal bones. Then it’s off to the lab to clean off the dirt and get things ready to catalog. That’s where I come in.

The "clean lab."

I work in what is called the “clean lab” at the Indiana State Museum. It’s called the clean lab because, once artifacts end up here, they should be as clean of all field dirt as they possibly can be. I take the material and begin the slow and exacting process of sorting, identifying, cataloging, tagging and numbering each item. It takes a special person for this tedious, uncelebrated task and, for better or for worse, I am that person. Continue reading

A Holiday Proposal

Written by Joanne Williams, program developer at Whitewater Canal State Historic Site

Ivan & Christa at Whitewater Canal

 The Ben Franklin III Canal Boat and Metamora Grist Mill, along with the town of Metamora, were decorated to the hilt for the annual Christmas Walk on Friday, Dec. 4. Deb Alvey, Whitewater Canal State Historic Site office manager and official photographer, was out taking pictures of the town and historic site for the marketing department when she came across a very romantic and life-changing event. Romance must have been in the air because visitor Ivan Cole took the opportunity to propose to Christa Turner on the bridge over the Whitewater Canal. The happy and excited couple asked Deb to capture this warm moment for them on her camera.

We aren’t sure how many times this has happened at the Whitewater Canal State Historic Site, but we are sure glad that Deb was there to help the young people remember this important event in their lives. Congratulations to Ivan and Christa and we hope they have many happy years together!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Whitewater Canal: A Rockwell Christmas?

www.indianamuseum.org/sites

Joe Konz's "Whitewater Canal at Night"

The Historic Sites take on a very different ambiance during the holidays. Decorations, lights and, of course, our friendly staffers … all combine to make it such a wonderful time of year! Apparently our visitors feel the same way. Rather than ME tell you how great we think Whitewater Canal is during the holidays, why don’t you check out the words and beautiful photos of someone who recently visited …

Click here and thanks, Joe, for sharing!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Jingle Bell Runners, Girl Scouts and Christmas Carols

The museum was truly abuzz today with thousands of runners gathering for the Arthritis Foundation’s Jingle Bell Run early this morning, followed by more than 1,300 Girl Scouts singing Christmas carols. Santa and all of his elves got quite a work out!*whew*

We also announced that Girl Scouts will receive a special discount if they bring their troops to the two Lincoln exhibitions opening on Feb. 12, 2010. Just call 317.232.1637 for reservations and identify your troop for the discount.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

What Gift Would You Give?

Indianamuseum.org

Nick is serious about giving Santa his pacifiers

This little guy, Nick, pictured on the right, gave what, from a 3-year-old’s perspective, is the ultimate gift. See that Ziploc he’s clutching? It is full of all of his pacifiers … symbols of babyhood, true comfort, and yes, a baby’s oral fixation. To Nick, they were his most prized possessions. And that is what he gave to Santa. It was a trade-off, actually. In return, Nick is to get an extra-special gift on Christmas morning, as a reward for his sacrifice. He also passed a milestone in growing up … and a Christmas at the Indiana State Museum that he will never forget!

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine