MOMCC Fall 2023 Conference
PRESERVING THE FODDER OF HISTORY OUTSIDE OF THE SILO
Location: Tillers International, Scotts, Michigan
Registration ends October 18th.
See this PDF for more information.
The communities we serve are in an ongoing dialogue regarding numerous serious concerns. That living history is uniquely positioned to add a pertinent voice to these discussions is an exciting and sobering obligation. Research undertaken at our sites typically mirrors other public history formats which center on archival materials and historic objects. The established standards and protocols embraced in order to preserve tangible materials (restricting their use, handling and exposure to environmental degradation) have been adopted by living history sites without alteration. Largely overlooked are the ele-ments of intangible heritage which living history sites are uniquely positioned to research, develop, propagate and preserve. These are the unrecorded skills, knowledge and underpinnings required for many of the objects in our collection to function optimally. Without these intangible skills, we have no way to accurately assess the rationale of the common culture of our past. Unlike the physical objects in our care, these intangible skills can only be maintained while in use; when put away they atrophy. The nutritional benefits of the fodder of common culture can only be realized when “fed-out” – it can only be preserved outside of the silo!
What resources are needed by living history sites in order to increase scholarship of intangible cultural heritage? What will the museum culture look like if the high level of connoisseurship and conservation practiced with material objects is to be applied to historic skills? How can we promote a more holistic approach to scholarship, which includes consideration of both tangible and intangible culture? In other words, how can the procedures and protocols of “conventional” fields of history be transposed into the acquisition and preservation of the skills within our intangible historic collections?
This will be the focus of our time together during MOMCC’s fall conference. It is a focus requiring involvement by everyone associated with living history, from every specialty. Two day intensive workshops will be aimed at exploring ways in which developing, practicing and preserving historic skills can be combined with more traditionally exercised museum disciplines in order to flush-out questions of historic cultures in unique ways. Throughout the conference participants will be asked to consider variations of two questions:
alternatives at any given point in time?
Stated another way, we will consider how to preserve the fodder of history outside of the silo.
See more at: https://momcc.org/
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