The People’s Library

Posted on July 25th, 2016 by

Earlier this month the JMM interns took a field trip to the Library of Congress in Washington DC. Since all of us are passionate about history in some respect, we greatly appreciated the opportunity to tour such a historic building.

After arriving we were given a brief tour of the museum where we saw several truly amazing exhibits. Starting with a recreation of Thomas Jefferson’s personal library we saw presentations on New York, Jewish texts and the Library itself. Our guide took us to an office where we examined several of the oldest Jewish books that are known.

The Library of Congress is full of amazing architecture.

The Library of Congress is full of amazing architecture.

As I’m preparing to begin student teaching in history classes this Fall, I was extremely excited to visit the Library. It’s filled with American history as well as sections on every topic imaginable. Thomas Jefferson, a president who’s leadership I particularly enjoy studying, was fascinating and I am extremely impressed with the Library’s work on it. We learned that Jefferson not only kept a vast collection of books, he kept an extremely detailed record of all his texts. For every book he obtained he also included it’s price, who sold it and his thoughts on it. Our guide also explained to us that Jefferson wanted the Library to belong to the American people. His reasoning behind this was simple; he wanted an informed and knowledgeable American population.

After leaving the Library, the interns spent the rest of the afternoon in DC. We got lunch, walked around the other museums and saw a few vendors outside before the rain set in. I think opportunities like this are something special that comes with the internship. I have had several other internships in college, but none took us to somewhere as incredible as the Library of Congress. Special thanks to the museum staff and Rachel Kassman for organizing the trip for us.

I highly recommend the Library to anyone who is interested in History! Thanks for a great visit!

Ben SnyderBlog post by Education & Programs Intern Ben Snyder. To read  more posts by and about interns click HERE.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




An Intern’s Trip to Philadelphia

Posted on July 31st, 2015 by

Realistically, there must be people who dislike going on field trips, but I am not one of those people. Throughout my internship with the JMM I have been observing and practicing the work that Joanna, the wonderful Collections Manager, does on a daily basis, reaffirming my desire to become a Collections Manager. On July 23rd I was able to accompany Joanna to the National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to pick up a donation, reminding me that Collections Managers sometimes go on field trips to other museums. I immediately added that to the list of reasons why I am on the right career path!

The National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH)

The National Museum of American Jewish History (NMAJH)

When we arrived at the museum, Claire Pingel, the Chief Registrar and Associate Curator of the NMAJH, met us in the lobby. She arranged for us to be able to look through the museum before we signed the paperwork and exchanged the donation.

The main lobby of the NMAJH

The main lobby of the NMAJH

The museum consists of five floors. The 1st floor contains the museum store and café, the Only in America® Gallery/Hall of Fame, and small rotating exhibits. Floors two though four hold the core exhibition which is split into three time frames. The exhibition begins on the 4th floor with “Foundations of Freedom: 1654 – 1880,” continues on the 3rd floor with “Dreams of Freedom: 1880 – 1945,” and ends with “Choices and Challenges of Freedom: 1945 – Today” on the 2ndfloor. The fifth floor is home to larger rotating exhibits, currently showing “Richard Avedon: Family Affairs.”

Claire escorted us to the 4th floor. Joanna and I quickly walked through the 1stthird of the core exhibition and then decided to look though the museum store and have lunch in the museum café. We then quickly walked through the 2ndthird of the core exhibition and called Claire when we were finished. She met us in the lobby and Joanna signed the Receipt, proving that the donation was transferred to her and the JMM.

 Joanna signing the receipt!

Joanna signing the receipt!

This was my first ever trip to Philadelphia. Despite the unfortunate short duration of our stay (3 hours), I was able to see a little of the city, catch a quick glimpse of Independence Hall which is situated right next to the NMAJH, and see some of the NMAJH exhibits. Although this field trip was fun, it was also educational. I was able to observe a museum partnership, which demonstrates how museums can help each other to be successful.

Independence Hall

Independence Hall

Skyline of Philadelphia

Skyline of Philadelphia

I absolutely plan to return to the NMAJH to look through their exhibits again when I have more time. I encourage others to visit as well! The museum is innovative and interesting. There are a ton of kid friendly activities throughout the core exhibition, and activities that adults can enjoy too.

IMG_0985A blog post by Collections Intern Kaleigh Ratliff. To read more posts from interns click HERE.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




A New Perspective

Posted on July 23rd, 2015 by

On Tuesday, the JMM interns made a trip to the National Federation of the Blind. It was an awesome experience for all of us!

A happy bunch of interns!

A happy bunch of interns!

The first stop on the tour was their room full of technology that can be used to assist blind people. It was amazing how many different options the blind have when it comes to using technology! They showed us different styles of note takers, accessibility options on iPhones, and even calculators that can speak out loud.

These devices speak out loud and allow the blind to listen to newspapers and books.

These devices speak out loud and allow the blind to listen to newspapers and books.

Here the interns are learning about a binder that can read the text on the page out loud.

Here the interns are learning about a binder that can read the text on the page out loud.

The next stop on the tour was their library. There were books in Braille for the blind, and books in print that related to the blind experience for sighted people to read. As well as books, there were also exhibits in the room as well.

Intern Wrangler Rachel and some of her interns look at (and touch!) art displayed in the library. The pieces are tactile so that you don’t need to see the art with your eyes in order to enjoy it.

Intern Wrangler Rachel and some of her interns look at (and touch!) art displayed in the library. The pieces are tactile so that you don’t need to see the art with your eyes in order to enjoy it.

This is a project that was completed at a STEM summer camp for blind high school students. Students worked together to solve a problem—in this case, an asteroid plummeting toward Earth—and built this solution, some sort of spacecraft.

This is a project that was completed at a STEM summer camp for blind high school students. Students worked together to solve a problem—in this case, an asteroid plummeting toward Earth—and built this solution, some sort of spacecraft.

This exhibit, about galaxies, is tactile; it has raised graphics and paragraphs in Braille so that the blind can understand the information that it conveys.

This exhibit, about galaxies, is tactile; it has raised graphics and paragraphs in Braille so that the blind can understand the information that it conveys.

What does this trip mean for the JMM? It has widened our options to make our institution more accessible for those who cannot see, or with other disabilities. For example, this trip has motivated us to make our website more user friendly for those who are not necessarily able to see it and rely on technology to read it for them.

Now that we have gained more insight into how to make our institution more blind-friendly, we can begin to take steps to achieve that.

CarmenA blog post by Marketing Intern Carmen Venable. To read more posts by interns click HERE.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




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