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8, March 2011

Napoleon's Posthumous Power

Although we sometimes add a local component to our exhibits, the Treasures of Napoleon touring exhibition fills its gallery completely. Visitors may be surprised to learn that we do have a number of Napoleon-related objects in our permanent collections at the Museum. These objects include coins, medals, and military items from soldiers who fought for and against the emperor. Of course, there are also some images of Napoleon that adorn objects from the St. Read more »

15, February 2011

The Splendid Heritage of Native American Languages

Editor’s Note: In December 2010, Sara Murphy, a graduate student in the University of British Columbia’s School of Library, Archival, and Information Studies, spent a two week practicum at the Missouri History Museum’s Library and Research Center. In conjunction with the Splendid Heritage exhibition, one of her practicum projects was to examine and reflect on the books in the MHM Library that are written in Native American languages.

In the back of a Cherokee-language New Testament from 1860, I found a newspaper article, sepia-toned and cracking. Read more »

11, February 2011

Osage Leaders Bless Artifacts in Splendid Heritage Exhibition

The exhibition Splendid Heritage: Perspectives on American Indian Art opens on Saturday, February 12, 2011, at the Missouri History Museum. On February 10 a blessing ceremony was conducted, partly in Osage, by leaders of the Osage Nation. Eddy Red Eagle and Vann Bighorse came up from Oklahoma to celebrate the works on display. The Osage conduct ceremonies for many of life’s events, happy or sad. The traditions are learned from elders, never written but captured in the hearts of the Indians.

Dr. Robert R. Read more »

14, January 2011

The Native American Collections at the Missouri History Museum

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7, January 2011

History Museum on Display in Shanghai

The World Expo Shanghai was open from May 1 to October 31, 2010. During that time, 73 million people visited the expo in China, which helped to showcase the Missouri History Museum among other international institutions. Read more »

22, December 2010

So Who Lived in Your House?

All St. Louisans are used to the question, “So where’d you go to high school?” But have you ever been asked, “So who lived in your house?” I have, and I found the answer where I work, the Missouri History Museum Library and Research Center.

Here’s who lived in my house.

A widow had it built in 1885 for her two sons. She bought the land from a local businessman whose family is still in business today. The Harrison boys were both in the fur trade business, one being a trimmer and the other a tanner. They lived in the house for only a few years. In 1891, the Schwarz family moved in. Read more »

10, November 2010

A Homesteader from St. Louis

Thoughtful people in our community, seeking to preserve a heritage shared by us all, have donated most of the artifacts in the collection of the Missouri History Museum. A recent donation of an American Indian headdress from the northern Plains began an interesting story of family and place.

Fred Roscoe Smith (1881–1968) was a resident of St. Louis who homesteaded in Montana between the years 1900 and 1916. His wife, Edith, stayed with him one winter, but found the weather to be foreboding and refused to live with him there in the future. She remained in St. Read more »

5, November 2010

Letter to Charles Lindbergh Makes a Return Flight 83 Years Later

Here is a curatorial feel-good story about one boy’s letter to Charles Lindbergh and how a copy of it made its way back home.

Over nine years ago, I was in the process of selecting artifacts for a 6,000-square-foot exhibit commemorating the New York to Paris flight that Lindbergh made in 1927. The Missouri History Museum has the largest collection of gifts Lindbergh received for his various flights from 1927 onward, as well as a large archival collection including thousands of letters of congratulations from around the world. Read more »

25, October 2010

Water in Perspective

Since the first human settlement on their banks, the Mississippi and Missouri rivers have given life and meaning to the St. Louis region. The confluence of two of North America’s greatest rivers has provided transportation, food, water, and, sometimes without regard to health, sewer services, for the St. Louis region. Today, with about 3 million people in close contact with the river’s influence, planning for the future is more important than ever.

Regional water management planners and users convened on October 14, 2010, to get the broad view on water in our region. Read more »