And welcome to my blog!
First of all, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Jenn Nelson, and I am a Public Historian, specializing in the History of Medicine. Public history is a way to mediate between the academic bubble and public realm. It is a great avenue in which the academic world can be made accessible to the public; through different forms and modes of communication.
I graduated from Huron University College in 2010, with a BA(Hons) in History and Political Science and I have spent time working at the National Library and National Museums Scotland as an assistant curator and researcher. I then graduated with an MA in Public History from Western University in 2011.
I have several years of experience working in museums and heritage institutions such as the Ontario Heritage Trust, Elgin County Museum, Banting House National Historic Site of Canada and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. I am very passionate about social media in museums and cultural institutions and believe that it is an excellent tool to provide outreach and build community. I was also the organizer of Ignite Culture, an event that offers a networking and information sharing opportunity for individuals working or volunteering in the cultural sector and ran my own business for two years (The Social Studio).
My main goal in writing this blog is to be a hub of information for anyone interested in history, social media or museums. Whether it be announcing some sort of historical event, or just something that’s happening in the news; if I come across it, and find it interesting, it’ll be on here. I hope you will find it interesting too, and if you do, please feel free to comment.
So, what is this “unmuseum”?
If you Google ‘unmuseum” – you’ll probably arrive at a website about the “Unmuseum of Natural History” – don’t look here for the definition of “unmuseum”!
The unmuseum phenonmenon is not entirely new, and neither is the “un” philosophy. As quoted on the UnLondon website:
“Un” is about approaching virtually anything in an “UnConventional” way.
“Un” is about throwing out the rules and doing things in the most optimal way, rather than simply doing what has “always” been done.
“Un” is about coming together as a community that values participation and contributing to an open, democratic, and inclusive platform.
“Un” provides participants with ‘permission to fail’ in an iterative pursuit of success; moreover, it provides the tools and resources so participants can fail as fast as possible.
“Un” is about hacking in its purest , unadulterated, original form.
So, what does this mean for museums?
Well, it means trying things in museums that have never been done before, integrating new technology and revamping old ideas to benefit the museum visitor. Essentially, it’s creating the best experience possible, an experience that will give you the chills you feel when you hear a great song, an experience that you will never forget.
That’s all for now!