Defining Memory: Local Museums and the Construction of History in America's Changing Communities (American Association for State and Local History)
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Defining Memory uses case studies of exhibits from around the country to examine how local museums, defined as museums whose collections are local in scope or whose audiences are primarily local, have both shaped and been shaped by evolving community values and sense of history. Levin and her contributors argue that these small institutions play a key role in defining America's self-identity and should be studied as seriously as more national institutions like the Smithsonian and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
past will find themselves constantly intrigued, frequently amused, occasionally astonished, repeatedly enlightened, and, above all, amply rewarded by the work of Amy Levin and her colleagues. David E. Kyvig Distinguished Research Professor and Professor of History Northern Illinois University I FRAMEWORKS Visitors impatient with the heavy traffic along I-70 about an hour west of St. Louis might take a detour onto one of the frontage roads at Wright City. This detour contains a remarkable
commitment to and respect for law enforcement officers and the surrounding communities.19 Hauptmann’s execution and other exhibits were part of the compromise reached in the selling of the Dillinger Museum. HISTORY LESSONS 133 To win the support of law-and-order advocates and others who condemned the Dillinger enterprise, Batistatos of the visitors bureau agreed to place a police memorial at the entrance of the museum.20 Indeed, in the entryway next to the Hauptmann execution, a plaque
they may face costly repairs. Keeping old buildings up to code presents continual challenges. Furthermore, many of these institutions have become linked to regional promotions and therefore can only present their communities in positive ways. How various institutions deal with these challenges is a central focus of this volume. COMMON THEMES In addition to the challenges of local museums described above, there are several distinct themes that characterize such institutions and render them
Liljenquist Nelson, 2001, Charles Redd Center for Western Studies, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah. 11 “A Repository for Bottled Monsters and Medical Curiosities” The Evolution of the Army Medical Museum M ICHAEL G. R HODE AND J AMES T. H. C ONNOR 1 Founded in 1862 as a Civil War research institute, the Army Medical Museum fast became an unparalleled repository of fluid-preserved and dry specimens, photographs, and case histories from ill and injured soldiers. From its inception, the
nineteenth century, and the museum was buffeted by this change. In the twentieth century, the concept of what the medical museum should be shifted, and it became a national pathology institute with a museum that occasionally was seen as a burden by the pathologists overseeing it. The museum’s broad range of collecting narrowed as early as World War I when the study of microscopic tissue samples became the focus of the collection and the museum’s rationales shifted again. Currently, the National