09 Sep

For my project, i figured on either following my research interests (military and gender) or my professional interests – I spent the summer working at the National Guard Memorial Museum (NGEF – national guard educational foundation).  I have an idea for each, and both are still pretty sketchy:

1. Military and Gender:  There are a few sites for military wives, there are a few sites that are more policy based (women in combat, etc.).  I’m thinking of an online community for women in the military to come to share stories.  This idea, by the way, has already morphed into a physical meeting for women to tell their stories.  I’m definitely getting the physical meeting off the ground, and I’m playing with the idea of linking the online community to the IRL meetings.

2. NGEF: We have a collection that is bigger than our museum space.  We also have the opportunity to obtain REALLY BIG THINGS, like planes, except we don’t have the space to store them or display them.  Right now we have a caisson and limber living in the parking garage because they’re just slightly too wide to get through the door of our onsite storage space. There’s another museum downtown, the American Jewish Military History Museum, that has what is essentially a “check out the cool stuff we have that doesn’t relate to any other exhibit” room.  Given our space constraints, NGEF can’t have a cool stuff room.  BUT we could have a cool stuff website.  I’m thinking along the lines of a digital catalog of our collection – photos, descriptions, and provenances of the items.  Ideally, this will be searchable by outside scholars.  Also, now that I’m hashing this out, I’d like to include the library in that as well.  Maybe not digitizing the books but putting our catalog online for outside scholars to search to see if we have something they might be interested in.

Any thoughts?  Anything I should clarify further?  Thanks!


Posted by on September 9, 2009 in Project


3 responses to “Project

  1. lprice3

    September 10, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    I really like your ideas. I think you’ll find the exchange on “The Promise of Digital History” very useful in exploring your options with the museum web project. One thing that struck me in that conversation was the perceived loss of physical and intellectual interactivity on many museum web sites that is achieved in actually visiting a museum. Perhaps there can be a section for visitors (veterans, family, etc) to make their own contributions – uploading photos/videos/audio telling their stories. You mention the “big” items that don’t fit in the museum – I’m wondering how you can translate that sense of scale online to have a deeper impact on the viewer? (Don’t get me wrong though – I think it is a fantastic idea to include them on your site.) There is so much you can do with this idea; it is quite exciting.

  2. colamaria

    September 12, 2009 at 11:01 am

    I’m liking project 1. Option 2 sounds a little more typical of the genre, whereas 1 caught my eye as something fresh. Would you moderate it and provide historical context? Or would it merely by a collection of oral histories?

  3. DeadGuyQuotes

    September 14, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    Z –

    Be careful, you are stealing my idea!!! From the nebulous notion of a digital archive, I think the NGEF would benefit greatly from a wide-ranging and all-encompassing online presence. The current state is weak and really uninformative. A full-blown e-museum could be many things and ALL of them would be less expensive that additional space at 1 Mass Ave.

    I like it and think that it could serve as a model for many similar projects that could cross the boundaries between archival, exhibit, teaching, and discussion (as Cohen describes them).



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