Tonight had to be one of the best school nights ever. This is the second week of my Museum Studies class and we got the full frontal, behind the scenes, only for select audiences tour of the State Archives and some of the State Museum.
I have been going to the State Museum since my dad took me there as a kid. Surprisingly some of the exhibits haven't changed since then. I'm ashamed to say, I haven't been in the museum in quite a number of years. Though I've worked near it and really have no valid excuse for not going.
We started out in the 4th floor board room which has a spectacular view overlooking the city of Harrisburg, the Susquehanna River and parts of the west shore. After a discussion he took us down to an area where some of the archives are stored. After leaving the freight elevator, we all stood collectively near the doors marked "Archives" waiting for the professor to find the key that unlocked the door to reveal the mysteries that room held. I felt like one of the kids in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when Mr. Wonka was about to open the door to the room where everything was edible and the chocolate river flowed.
He opened the door and switched on the lights and there were metal shelves heavy with baby cradles, dress forms with formal gowns worn by governor's wives, quilts, teddy bears, blanket trunks, household utensils, etc. I could have stayed in there all night and had a blast!
We went to an area where they date archaeological finds. This is one of the largest department in the museum. There are some 3.7 million artifacts there. There were cases upon cases of American Indian arrowheads, pottery, beads, effigies all right next door to the palaeontology department. Unfortunately, we didn't have enough time to get to see what was in there. Maybe in a couple of weeks. If you'd like to take a virtual tour, click here.
The visit tonight just sealed my fate. If I don't get to work in that museum at some point in my life, I will be a very unhappy girl!! Luckily, the professor is the head curator of the museum. I think I may have the connection I need to find myself a very fulfilling job! Now I'm thinking, I wonder what the archives are like at The Met?!?