Museum Sleuths Exhibit Answers Questions
An 8-year-old accompanies her mother to an antique shop, and she spies an odd-looking contraption. "What's this?" she asks, while reaching for a 1960s record player. Before you know it, items like record players or rotary-dial phones become objects of mystery for the next generation.
Nearly every museum has unfamiliar objects in its artifact collection. At the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh, a new exhibit spotlights a selection of unusual items that will befuddle or bemuse you. "Museum Sleuths: Whatchamacallits and Thingamajigs" features 21 objects from the museum's collection of more than 150,000 artifacts.
This small exhibit includes items ranging from a large object shaped like an elephant's trunk to a gadget resembling a miniature water tower.
Try to guess the identity of each one before revealing the answer.
However, this may be quite a challenge because some artifacts date to the 1700s. The exhibit will run through August, and admission is free.
"Museum Sleuths" is an interactive exhibit that describes how the mysteries behind the artifacts are uncovered. Discover how curators, who study the objects, are like sleuths who investigate clues. As they delve into research, the curators ask plenty of questions about the item's identity and history. How old is it? Where was it made?
Computer touch screens in "Museum Sleuths" will take visitors behind the scenes at the Museum of History. Learn about the many staff members who take care of the artifacts. Maintaining a museum collection, for example, requires specially trained artifact handlers, conservators and registrars.
The behind-the-scenes tour also highlights other sections of the museum, where staff members, from exhibit designers to educators, help present and interpret North Carolina's rich history.
For more information about the Museum of History, call (919) 807-7900 or access ncmuseumofhistory.org.
The N.C. Museum of History's hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free.
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