Blog » Category: Museum Work

  • History is Really About the People

    October 13th, 2017
    It is the people who bring history to life
  • Getting Back Our First Names

    April 21st, 2017
    Reclaiming women's first names through the historical record
  • Images from the Collection

    April 7th, 2017
    Stories behind six images from our photo collection
  • Exhibits

    May 5th, 2016
    Many years ago, most museums did exhibitions using the time tested tool of the diorama. Dioramas, both life size and in miniature, were used to tell a story
  • Explaining the 1960s

    September 4th, 2015
    Each year before college begins, Beloit College in Wisconsin puts out “The Mindset List” for the incoming freshman class. Originally compiled as a lark, it’s become a valuable tool for professors (and other adults) to understand an 18-year old’s perspective.
  • When you move something, is it still the same?

    August 13th, 2015
    I wrote in March about cleaning out the house in which I grew up. We needed to “de-clutter” it anyway to put it on the market so we did the bulk of the removal at the same time. All the dishes, books, cereal boxes, knick knacks, records, and “what is this and why did they save it?” left the house. It was a huge feat More »
  • Keeping Up With The Times

    June 19th, 2015
    There’s a great line in the first Men In Black movie. Tommy Lee Jones is showing Will Smith alien technology, including a tiny compact disc, and says, “Looks like I’ll have to buy the White Album again.” Whether or not you liked the Beatles, it resonated with anyone who saw the change from vinyl records to tape (8-tracks and cassettes) to compact disc. In the More »
  • Do you have …..?

    June 12th, 2015
    “Do you have…..” the words following that inquiry can stir any number of emotions in an archivist. For example, confidence, “yes, I have ‘that’ and know right where it is”; or confusion, “do I have anything on ‘that’, have I ever even heard of ‘that?!’” to outright fear, “oh dear, I haven’t been able to find ‘that’ in three years and I have no idea More »
  • Road Maps, Wish Books and Cartography

    May 15th, 2015
    I like maps! There, I said it! I am one of those folks who will happily try to navigate with a few lines on paper rather than a nifty GPS with a sexy voice that tells me which road to turn down …NOW!
  • “My Kids Don’t Care About This Stuff”

    March 27th, 2015
    I’m cleaning out my parents’ house as we get ready to sell it. Mom passed away last fall and Dad left the house a week later to move into assisted living. Like many houses, the attic is packed with...stuff. For years before this, “what to do with the attic” periodically came up in conversation. Mom didn’t want to talk about it, Dad wrung his hands More »
  • World War II Revisted

    October 24th, 2014
    In 1995 we opened a major exhibit, Close to the Heart of the War: Geneva and World War II, and published a companion book. We conducted “history harvests” to identify people with stories, artifacts and photos. A researcher recorded many hours of oral history interviews and scoured local newspapers and records. So, why do World War II again? Is there anything left to say?
  • The Evolution of Museums and the Geneva Historical Society

    September 18th, 2014
    By John Marks, Curator of Collections and Exhibits Charles Willson Peale is considered the father of American museums. (A painting by his son Rembrandt hangs in the main hallway of Rose Hill.) In 1786 he opened a museum of natural history in Philadelphia, which included an extensive portrait gallery; Peale justified this by saying man was at the top of the natural order. He charged More »
  • A Basket of a Tale

    September 5th, 2014
    When people donate objects to the museum, we always ask if they know anything about the history of the items. Sometimes there is a family story about who made or owned a piece, and we take those stories seriously. Once in a while, though, when we look into the story, we find that there may have been some misunderstanding as the tale was passed down. More »
  • Community Stories

    May 16th, 2014
    By John Marks, Curator of Collections and Exhibits   Club 86 in the 1950s.  Photograph loaned by Bill Legott     Last fall we became involved in a film project about the history of Club 86 in Torrey Park. Jim Augustine, a Rochester native whose roots are in the north end of Geneva, asked for background information about the restaurant and Geneva. We made several More »
  • Without a Story it is All Just “Stuff”!

    May 9th, 2014
    As you can see, “stuff” has as many meanings as it has forms. For the sake of this blog post I will just refer to two or three dimensional, inanimate materials that take up space in our lives, mostly my life.
  • Every Now and Then

    April 4th, 2014
    A Historical Society staff member shares a mission moment.
  • Reading Old Handwriting

    March 12th, 2014
    We have some very interesting old letters, journals and diaries in the archives at Prouty Chew House and I love reading some of the entries. It isn’t always easy for a variety of different reasons.
  • Doing Research

    September 20th, 2013
    Tips on doing research
  • Balmanno Cottage Closing Friday, August 23

    August 16th, 2013
    The Historical Society's explanation for the sale of Balmanno Cottage.
  • Stain Removal, Now and Then

    August 13th, 2013
    19th century stain removal tips
  • When Hobby Meets Work

    July 17th, 2013
    How music has been incorporated into various activities of the Geneva Historical Society.
  • Honeybees: A Brief Overview and the Bees at Rose Hill

    June 25th, 2013
    Brief history of honeybees and how a colony was removed at Rose Hill Mansion
  • Writing Exhibits

    June 18th, 2013
    The exhibit creation process at the Geneva Historical Society
  • Museum Volunteers

    June 14th, 2013
    Ode to the Geneva Historical Society's volunteers
  • My Geneva

    June 11th, 2013
    Mini version of the Geneva Historical Society's exhibit Geneva A to Z.
  • “Kid” Collectors

    May 8th, 2013
    Reflections of a collector.
  • Town and Gown at the Geneva Historical Society

    April 18th, 2013
    Relationship between the Geneva Historical Society and Hobart and William Smith Colleges
  • So, what does an Archivist really do? (Or Spelunking in the Basement of Doom)

    April 8th, 2013
    Being the archivist for the Geneva Historical Society.
  • Why Save It?

    March 19th, 2013
    Why and how the Geneva Historical Society collects objects.
  • Richard III and the Lessons of Leicester

    March 4th, 2013
    Lesson learned from the exhumation of the remains of Richard III.
  • A Site Manager’s Day

    February 22nd, 2013
    Typical day of the site manager of Rose Hill and Johnston House
  • What is History?

    February 19th, 2013
    Discussion of what is history.
  • Will Your History Be A Mystery?

    January 16th, 2013
    Tips on preserving personal photos and documents
  • It’s All About The Story

    January 14th, 2013
    The mission of the Geneva History Society is to tell stories.