If you have been furiously binging Netflix shows during the quarantine like I have, you may have come across the Korean historical zombie-thriller Kingdom. The show is set in the late 1500s during Korea’s Joseon (조선) period, which lasted from 1392 – 1910. One of the most distinctive parts of the show is the variety of hats, a constant halo around the head of almost every male on the show. Seeing the unique, conical top hats on screen immediately transported me back to the Museum’s collection storage room, where I had spent hours inventorying the Korean collection. It was in one of the drawers that I came across several of the Museum’s own Korean top hats.
The Collections and Archives team may be working remotely these days, but collections care doesn’t stop for a pandemic. Caring for and preserving the diverse array of historical materials at the Museum is a big job and an ongoing task as part of the Museum’s stewardship responsibilities. To help in these efforts, we recruited our team mascot, Hans, to share some of these tasks and explain why they are a priority in our work. Our staff is helping to oversee Hans’s work from afar…
In August of 1918, the first cases of the Spanish flu hit Boston. The Globe reported last week in an interview with Jared Rhoades that museums and schools closed that same month. “They closed the MFA, the Boston Public Library, schools, bars, barber shops, theaters,” Rhoads, the debate program director at the Coolidge Foundation, said. “You name it, it was closed down.”
Boston Children’s Museum, however, remained open.
When you’re working from home with kids, it’s hard to separate work life and family life. I entered into this new social construct with all the optimism I could muster, for which I blame my midwestern roots. I give myself a gold star for having a mindful approach to this new unknown. My daughter and I made a schedule and brainstormed activity ideas, but unfortunately, the reality isn’t matching up to our initial sunny outlook. If you, too, are working remotely with your kids as your new coworkers, maybe you can relate.
All objects have stories: of their origin, where they have been, and what they mean to people. Objects can remind us of happier times. They can bring back memories of vacations, loved ones, and home.
Boston Children’s Museum has a collection of late-nineteenth century scrapbooks that range in size, shape, and genre. The scrapbooks have brittle paper, many small parts, and many parts glued in. This can make them difficult to use in the Museum in programs or exhibits, so we worked with professionals at Digital Commonwealth and Simmons University to digitize them so they can be shared and experienced online.
From the 1930s to 2010, the Kit Department at Boston Children’s Museum created and circulated kits covering hundreds of different subjects to surrounding schools.
On the night of October 19, 1942, smoke poured out of Boston Children’s Museum. The 2-alarm fire blazed while Jamaica Plain firefighters sought to extinguish it, and neighborhood children stood…