I chose to look at two similar museums that were on the smaller scale of museums. The Pratt Museum located at Kachemak bay, Alaska and Mac bride museum in Whitehorse, Yukon.
Both these museums say that they want to protect the history and preserve the stories of their local area one being the Yukon the other one being Kachemak bay. So, to start off I wanted to look at their vision statements or their mission statement. Knowing that these two museums were smaller museums I wasn’t expecting a lot as far as a mission statement or a visionary statement from them.
Below is the Pratt Museum Mission and Vision:
The mission of the Pratt Museum is to strengthen relationships between people and place through stories relevant to Kachemak Bay.
Our vision is that all stories are acknowledged as relevant to an interdependent community of people and place. Stories are a basic unit of understanding; they are the method by which we communicate with ourselves and with each other. At the museum, “stories” describe individuals, cultures, and ecosystems through evolving personal, artistic, scientific, and cultural narratives. Every story, especially when revealed through the dynamic processes of exploration and dialogue, is relevant. The Pratt Museum fulfills its mission by facilitating engagement between community members and strengthening understandings of our shared place. Through these activities, the unique relationship between the people and places of Kachemak Bay will be sustained far into the future.
Below is the McBride Museum Mission and Vision:
MANDATE: MacBride Museum illustrates and protects the Yukon’s history.
VISION: MacBride is a dynamic museum, dedicated to promoting the value, understanding and enjoyment of Yukon history.
MISSION: MacBride Museum will be a community place for Yukoners to share the stories of the Yukon and Whitehorse. MacBride will be a place to illustrate our history and provide opportunities for everyone to learn and create new experiences.
- accountability to public expectations
- stewardship of the collections entrusted to our care
- respect for diversity
- objectivity in presenting information
- excellence in product and service
Current Function, Future Objectives: Being a Museum is our core business. We will focus on this role and add activities to complement it.
Archives and Research: MacBride will be a center of excellence in heritage research. MacBride is an accredited archive and offers knowledgeable staff and resources.
Collections: MacBride will collect, protect and interpret artifacts that illustrate the Yukon’s history.
Exhibitions: MacBride will undertake permanent and temporary exhibits to illustrate the history of the Yukon.
Facilities: Ensure that the organization has adequate facilities to undertake our mandate.
Programming: MacBride will present high quality educational programming linked to curriculum. The Museum will partner with students, educational institutions, and educators to deliver these programs. Additionally, the Museum will deliver historically themed programs for adults, families and children.
Partnership: In all our endeavors, we will seek partnerships.
Professionalism: MacBride management and staff will ensure that collections are managed to high professional standards. The Board will attempt to provide long-term employment to retain skilled employees.
As I read these vision statements and mission statements from the two museums found them to be different but yet still have some of the same qualities in each one. The Pratt museums vision and mission statement were very simple but yet had a lot of meaning and told the story of what they wanted to do at the museum. It felt like when you read this you were actually talking to somebody, it felt very appealing and comforting, it made you feel like it was an old friend. As far as the McBride museum’s vision and mission statement it was what I was expecting from a bigger museum it laid out everything. What they wanted to do, current functions to future objectives, collections to exhibits so gave you a lot of detail. I appreciate all the detail that they’re putting into it, but it seemed very automated or very programmed.
Both these museums had created history when looking at the information that was provided. Both were started by people that had moved into the area or we’re trying to be collectors of some sort of an overtime created historical societies and then eventually the museums were created in their honor based on their collections and what they were providing to the area as far as contributed contributors to the museums.
Both these museums have different kinds of programs that they run through the museum to be outreach programs starting in school age programs all the way up to 12th grade they also have some different kinds of museum tours and events that go along with the museum that they provide to the community so in this way they’re both very similar some of the programs look a little bit more detailed some of them look more oriented towards kids and getting them involved in the museums. Even though I couldn’t find much for an outreach program with the McBride museum I did find that the Pratt museum seemed to have more of a community involvement with different cultures and different indigenous people around the area to include different festivals field trips they also have more internships and events for college groups and school groups or just for people that want to explore the museum a little bit more so in this way I feel like the Pratt museum has a little bit more involvement in the community even though both museums say that they do seems like the Pratt museum is taking that step further an really being involved in different aspects of the community and the people that are around the museum.
As far as the collections go the Pratt museum allow me to look at specific pieces in their collection not the whole collection but there was a way to see some of the pieces that are there in the museum. This gave a really good overview of what is in their collections from cultural, Natural History, photos and archives, Cartography of the community, so this allowed you to give some overview of what was in the museum and what you could expect when you got there the other thing I like about this museum is that they actually have some podcasts that go over some of the collections and so not only do you get to see the collections but you can also hear about why it was collected who collected it and some of the stories behind the collections so that gives you a little bit more of an in depth preview of what is at this museum good. The McBride museum gives you information on what’s in the museum, but they don’t have that in-depth look or the ability to look at certain items like the Pratt museum does so just other than the brief overview and the museum tour that they would have you don’t get a sense of what’s really in the museum you have to go off of what they are providing you as far as generalized statements of the collections.
Overall, I believe that these are two museums that I would like to go see and experience what they have to offer. If I had to choose, I feel like the Pratt museum has overall been more inviting in the way that you can see the collections or get the information that you might want to see. Even though this museum is small it has a very inviting feel about it just from what I’ve read and seen on their website still makes me want to just experience that museum even more.
Question: how do you decide what museum you want to go to? Are you open to exploring new museums even if it is something you might not be interested in?