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15, March 2017

Unlocking a Treasure Trove of STL History

Last September, MHM’s Photos and Prints department began processing our Sievers Studio Collection, which contains the original negatives and select prints created by the Sievers Studio between 1918 and 1989. Thanks to funding provided by the NHPRC, we’re creating a detailed index describing each photo shoot and making some item-level records for the 1930s images. We've mainly been tackling the index up to now, and that work has helped us know how many and what kinds of images we have. Now we're starting to review the 3,600+ identified images from the indexed records to select some of the more interesting ones,  Read more »

6, March 2017

Eye on Exhibits: From Headline to Exhibit

The process for creating the kinds of exhibits we do at the Missouri History Museum is a long one. So many decisions have to be made over the course of their development that by the time we finally open, I don’t often recall the moment that we began. But I clearly remember the day we decided to create #1 in Civil Rights: The African American Freedom Struggle in St. Louis. Read more »

23, February 2017

Where Teens, Leadership, & Team Building Meet

Earlier this year we welcomed students from 17 area high schools to spend eight weeks exploring museum work with us in our Teens Make History Academy. So far the teens have met with and learned from a curator, marketers, a conservator, librarians, archivists, and members of our education department. Each week they’ve taken what they’ve learned and put it to the test via museum challenges, small-scale projects that exemplify what museum professionals do every day. Read more »

20, February 2017

Breaking News: President Kennedy's Assassination

Last October, I received a letter from retired newspaper reporter Ted Pollard. In it he offered to donate a document related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Although he lives in Ohio now, for about six months in 1963 Pollard worked on the business desk of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat. Each day he watched the incoming tapes of the noontime quotes from the Dow Jones business-wire machine, which sat next to the main, broad-tape teletype device that carried major news stories from the Associated Press (AP). Read more »

8, February 2017

Mapping Decline: St. Louis and the Fate of the American City

America’s cities are sources of controversy. Some people see them as places where the American dream has gone to die; others celebrate them as places where the American dream is alive and thriving.

How did communities that were once the sites of such promise—especially St. Louis—become ground zero for seemingly every major ongoing political conflict? Mapping Decline, a new traveling exhibit created by the Missouri History Museum and the Missouri Humanities Council, provides some much-needed historical perspective on this very question. Read more »

26, January 2017

It's Neon Time!

Neon expert David Hutson has restored multiple signs along Route 66 in Missouri, including the Donut Drive-In and Sunset Motel signs. While making the feature-length documentary Show Me 66: Main Street Through Missouri, we spent some time with Hutson at Neon Time, his shop in St. Charles. There we discussed the role neon played on Route 66 and why neon has become such a big part of the road's cultural legacy. Read more »

23, January 2017

6 Writing Wonders—Or Not

In today's texting-obsessed world, some would argue that our collective handwriting skills are tanking and that penmanship is destined to become a lost art. Au contraire! Although past St. Louisans would surely be baffled by a QWERTY keyboard, we're betting they'd praise the efforts of educators learning how to teach children cursive in response to updated Missouri learning standards. Read more »

17, January 2017

A 10-Year-Old's Take

Recently my 5th-grade class took a field trip to the Missouri History Museum. We visited the exhibits TOYS of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s and Route 66: Main Street Through St. Louis. Read more »

3, January 2017

We Made History in 2016

There are record-breaking years, and then there are years like 2016 at the Missouri History Museum. We're still crunching the numbers on what will go down as one of the most successful years in our 150-year history, but here's what we can say for sure: Read more »

27, December 2016

A Kitchen Set Surprise

In 2009, Shelley Lebbing contacted me to see whether we would be interested in some items for donation. Included in her gift were four pieces of a toddler-sized pink kitchen, complete with a few cooking utensils and numerous grocery pieces. Here’s Shelley's account of receiving her Rite-Hite kitchen in the 1960s: Read more »