Reflections on my 1st year at the JMM

Posted on April 27th, 2016 by

Where you'll find Graham...usually!

Where you’ll find Graham…usually!

As it’s coming up to my year anniversary working at the Jewish Museum of Maryland, I thought I’d share a few projects I’ve worked on (and some fun I’ve had along the way). You may be wondering what a Visitor Services Coordinator does. While my primary responsibilities involve taking admissions at the front desk, delivering the daily synagogue tours when our volunteer docents are unavailable, scheduling school and adult visits to the Museum and handling rentals, I’ve also taken on a few other tasks.  For instance, I’ve learned the Point of Sale system in the shop, worked to make the museum more accessible and have improved the visitor experience by installing a bike rack and re-landscaping our front courtyard area.

Enjoying baseball with the interns

Enjoying baseball with the interns

I’ve enjoyed the challenge of working with contractors, gaining experience with project management and learning new tours such as the “Sounds of the Synagogue.”  I’ve mentored our summer interns and organized a field trip for them to an Orioles game in Camden Yards. I also assisted with the de-installation of the Mendes Cohen exhibit.

De-installing 'The A-Mazing Mendes Cohen'

De-installing ‘The A-Mazing Mendes Cohen’

Sometimes I’ve been asked to do a few usual things such as installing Ikea bookcases for our shop, acting as a valet parker when guests got blocked in our staff parking lot, and driving to the Museum late at night for a false burglary alarm.

Showing off some Ikea skills!

Showing off some Ikea skills!

I’ve had fun acting as an ambassador for the JMM whether it was tabling at the National Council for Public history’s annual conference in Baltimore or dressing as a doctor to promote our new Beyond Chicken Soup (chickensoupexhibit.org) exhibit for Charm City Tribe’s Wild Purim Rumpus.

The Wild Purim Rumpus

The Wild Purim Rumpus

Part of the joy of the job has been interacting with visitors from all over the world and hearing their connections to Jewish life in Baltimore. I’ve made lasting friendships with our many volunteers and have grown close to many of the staff.

In the coming year, I hope to take on more volunteer management responsibilities, as our current volunteer coordinator, Ilene Cohen, will be soon leaving the Museum. I also look forward to transitioning to a computerized ticketing and admission system. As always, if you have any suggestions of how I can make the visitor experience better, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

GrahamA blog post by Graham Humphrey, Visitor Services Coordinator. To read more posts by Graham click HERE.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




Book Preservation: Tips to Care for your Home Library

Posted on April 13th, 2016 by

– Keep things cool. Books are most comfortable at temperatures close to 65 degrees.

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Our rare book collection is housed in our temperature controlled collections storage rooms.

– Turn out the lights. Direct light, particularly sunlight, can cause books to discolor and become brittle.

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Discoloration

– Give them breathing room. Squeezing books tightly onto a shelf can cause wear and tear on the covers.

Protect covers by not squeezing volumes together

Protect covers by not squeezing volumes together

– Handle with care. Remove a book by gripping the center on either side of the spine. Tipping a book off the shelf by pulling from the top of the headband can damage the spine.

Damaged spine

Damaged spine

– Size things up. Arrange books on a shelf according to size so they can support each other. Lay large volumes flat to avoid stress on the spine.

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Another peek at our rare book shelves

– Tape is not your friend. Tape causes additional problems that are difficult to reverse. Consider acid free storage containers or consult a conservator.

Tape damage

Tape damage

For more information: https://www.nps.gov/museum/publications/conserveogram/19-02.pdf

Post by Collections Intern Melissa Caples.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




The Hunt for Hidden Treasures-A Visit to Sinai Hospital

Posted on October 30th, 2015 by

While we all are excited about the newest exhibit, Paul Simon: Words and Music, the museum is always hard at work. My name is Rachel Rabinowitz and I am the current Exhibitions intern here at the museum. I am lucky enough to be helping out with an exhibit coming next year to the museum. “Beyond Chicken Soup: Jews and American Medicine” will highlight all the ways Jews have become involved with American Medicine. One of the ways the museum is able to showcase this amazing history is through object that our loaned to our museum. I was lucky enough to join Karen Falk, Joanna Church and Alicia Puglionesi on a recent visit to pick up some items from Sinai Hospital in downtown Baltimore. Although there were so many great artifacts, images, and objects to choose from in the library, we chose a select few to use in the exhibit.

Here are few of the items you may see in our upcoming exhibit:

Fetoscope

Fetoscope

This odd looking stethoscope confused the staff here as to its exact use. My research, through the internet and the help of my mother (a gynecologist) lead me to find out is it called a fetoscope. This device was first described by doctors David Hillis and Joseph De Lee in 1917 and 1922 respectively. This device allows a doctor to monitor the heartbeat of the fetus during labor. The metal headband was attached so that the doctor could have their hands free to deliver the baby. (Sources: Feinstein, N., & Health, O. (2003). Fetal heart monitoring: Principles and practices (3rd ed.). Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt Pub. QCOM – Fetal Heart Monitoring – History – Page 2. (n.d.). Retrieved October 12, 2015. http://utilis.net/fhm/2465.htm)

Children's coloring book

Children’s coloring book

This item stands the test of time as coloring is an activity that children seem to always love. This coloring book from the 1960s was created by the Sinai Women’s Auxiliary to help children understand what it means to be a patient in the hospital.

Hospital Gift Shop

Hospital Gift Shop

One thing you will always see at a hospital is a gift shop. This image from the 1940s shows two women volunteering at the gift shop at Sinai Hospital when it was located on Monument Street. You may notice a lot of the same items that were sold in the gift shop then are still sold today such as magazines and candy.
Keep a lookout for these items in our upcoming visit! Feel free to comment about these images or any memories you have about Sinai Hospital here in Baltimore.

A blog post by Exhibitions Intern Rachel Rabinowitz. To read  more posts from interns click HERE.

Posted in jewish museum of maryland




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