Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Museum of London

     Our group visited the Museum of London on July 23, 2014. When we arrived, we had a few minutes to look around the quaint gift shop and grab a coffee in the cafe. Our speaker, Sarah Demb, picked us up and took us back through a maze of hallways to a conference room. Sarah Demb is the archivist for the Museum of London, a job that has not always existed. Sarah is an American living in the United Kingdom (she is actually about to move back to the states). Because many of the people in our program would love to live and work in London, Sarah gave us a very detailed account of her school and work history. She has had a very cool career thus far to say the least. Through her words, you get a feeling that she really loves what she does. I hope I convey that when I talk to people about my job as a media specialist. The only bummer about meeting Sarah was there was no archive to tour. The area she uses for archives is much too small for our group. I would have like to see some of the work she does on a daily basis.
    After Sarah finished up, we were free to go or stay and visit the museum. The Museum of London is always free to patrons, which is really nice in the most expensive city in the world (I hope that sounded angry, because my bank account is angry at this point in the trip). I decided to look around the museum for a little while before heading back to the dorms to work on some research. The Museum of London is focused on the history of London from prehistoric times into the present. If you follow the museum in its natural path, then you get to embark on a great journey to see how London became what it is today.
     I did not make it through the entire museum because I quickly became fascinated with the various methods the museum used to display their materials. The museum did a great job of having many different types of exhibits for people's learning styles. Below are pictures of many of the various ways the information is presented. You will notice some information cases that have artifacts protected from the element and some relics get touched all day long. There are interactive computers that have sound and visual information. Listening centers are found throughout the museum; some of them include televisions and some are just for listening. Information is presented in time lines to be easier to understand. Models are used to show the relative size of famous buildings.There was an interactive exhibit where children could try on clothes from a time period. It is amazing that the Museum of London are able to remain free to the public and offer such varied and innovative displays.

     From the windows of the Museum of London you can see part of what used to be the London Wall. I am constantly amazed by the age of the city I am living in this summer. I think Americans take for granted the age of our country in relationship to the age of other places. You just don't seem to think about it until you are in another country.

The Museum of London has a great website that is up-to-date and easy to use. They are connected to tons of social media: Facebooka blogTwitterYouTubeFlickr, and Scribd  (a subscription service).

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