[vcf-midatlantic] Problems we face as collectors/curators: The last lesson of Bob Pease

Evan Koblentz evan at vcfed.org
Mon Aug 26 23:14:59 EDT 2019


> Herb wrote:
>>> The last lesson of Bob Pease, may well be as suggested in the title 
>>> of the article: "What is this stuff, anyhow?". What's to be done - 
>>> if anything - with artifacts of technical work and products? Do they 
>>> have value? What do they mean? Can they inform us, or simply amuse 
>>> us, or do they just get in the way?
>>
> On 8/26/2019 4:01 PM, Evan Koblentz wrote:
>> This is why, when giving museum tours, I focus hard on explaining the 
>> "so what" instead of technical specifications. Other than storage 
>> (how many of these doodads are needed to make one modern memory 
>> cards), most of our visitors couldn't care less about speed, memory, 
>> or whatever else. They want to know what is this thing and why should 
>> I care. If you don't make that point early, then you lose them.
>
> So Evan, what works for the visitors you describe?

It depends. I welcome them, ask if they've been here before, find out if 
they're techies or normal people :), and size up the situation from 
there. Sometimes I ask if they want a tour or if they just want to look 
around. Other times I push into one choice or the other. Basically I try 
to get a sense of who they are and what's the best way to 
entertain+inform them. The hardest situation is when a group has one 
engineer, one non-techie with mild interest, one teenage kid, and one 
toddler ... how do you pick the best thing for all four of them? That 
type of thing happens a lot.

One thing I * always * do is pick the youngest child or the uninterested 
spouse and tell them their job is to make sure everyone else in their 
party doesn't touch anything! It works great.

I could go into a lot more detail/examples, but it would be threadjacking.


More information about the vcf-midatlantic mailing list