The goal of this website is to help leadership in small- to medium-sized museums whose positions require a wide breadth of skill sets find some answers to questions they may have about the functions of museums.
The idea of this website was formed as the final project for my Digital Humanities certificate while earning my MA in Public History at Northeastern University. It grew from the knowledge that possessing a leadership role, especially as a director, at a small- or medium-sized historical organization can be as challenging at times as it is rewarding. When a staff is small, the leadership tends to occupy many roles. For example, while direction, curation, exhibit development, marketing, and design are positions held by separate individuals trained in a more specific skill set at larger historical organizations, one person often does all of these jobs at medium-sized and smaller organizations. As someone interacting with this site, you likely know how challenging it can be to juggle all of these roles successfully. The need to acquire new knowledge and skill sets is constantly ongoing.
The hope is that this website can function as a professionally curated, easily navigable resource for the leaders mentioned above. It’s a first stop to search for the answers to questions on a variety of topics. What is available now is a starting point. I hope to continue to add resources and keep everything updated to the best of my ability as museums and other historical organizations evolve.
Clare Nelson is currently a second-year M.A. student at Northeastern University where she is earning a degree in Public History and a certificate in Digital Humanities, this project being the capstone of the latter. Over the past several years, she has gained experience in costumed interpretation, historical summer camp organization, exhibit development, and archival work at various historical organizations. These experiences, supported by her formal education, have reinforced the incredible importance of history to the public today. In her free time, Clare enjoys hiking, a good board game, and browsing the shelves of indie bookshops.
I would like to give an extra warm thank you to Dr. Julia Flanders and Dr. Sarah Connell for their mentorship throughout the development of this project, Dr. K.J. Rawson and Dr. Victoria Cain for their insightful feedback, and to museum professionals Merrilee Lee and Robin Untz for their time and thoughts about how to make this website useful for their colleagues.