The staff at the C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa have been thinking about this for a while – starting a blog for the Museum. We have now decided to take the plunge.
What should we blog about? We did not want a blog to repeat the same information now printed in our newsletter or that we post on Facebook. We all agreed the blog needs to relate to our Museum’s Mission Statement. We thought there were lots of issues of interest to the public that do not fit well into newsletter articles because they are too long or too detailed. Some of these issues include:
- Why we are transferring some of the collections we now curate at our Memphis Museum to the Department of Archives and History in Jackson, Mississippi.
- How we upgraded and transitioned all of our educational programs and crafts to align with the curriculum standards of the public schools.
- The importance of species conservation in our newly launched medicinal plant sanctuary.
- Reports on research projects using collections curated at Chucalissa, such as the recent clay source analysis of Poverty Point Objects recovered in West Tennessee.
- A day in the life of a Chucalissa intern.
- Discussion of past events at Chucalissa. I still want to learn about how the two replica dugout canoes were made for Museum, and I know the builders are out there.
- For our visitors to share memorable events or experiences that had at Chucalissa over the years.
Next we discussed who would write for the blog. We wanted the blog to be the voice of the many staff, graduate assistants, interns, volunteers, visitors, and others who have a stake in the C.H. Nash Museum. As the Director, I did not want the blog to become my pulpit on Chucalissa. In my few years at the Museum, I learned that great things happen when the Director steps back and lets the natural energy and creativity of others germinate and grow.
Our staff also discussed how often we should post to the blog. We are shooting for a once a week schedule. If there is an overabundance of issues and writers for the blog, we might post more often. If we are running short on topics, we might drop back to posting bi-weekly.
We want to invite everyone to think of topics they would like to see covered in the Chucalissa blog. Drop us a note and we will look into the subject. Or better yet, consider writing a 500 – 700 word post yourself on an issue related to Chucalissa.
Ultimately, we intend this blog to be another tool to provide information to the public we serve about the many aspects of the C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa. In the 2011 survey of the 1700 readers of our monthly e-newsletter Chucalissa Anoachi, sixty percent of those responding said they wanted the Museum to provide more on-line information and resources. This blog is a response to that recommendation. As always we look forward to your thoughts on this project.
Oh, and to get us off to a good start, how about suggesting a name for the blog. Updates from Chucalissa, well that works, but it really lacks any sort of creativity. Four years ago, Susan Hoyal suggested Chucalissa Anoachi (Choctaw for proclaimer) to replace our rather uninspired title of The Chucalissa Newsletter for monthly electronic publication. We are hopeful one of our readers will provide a similar inspiration for this blog!
Robert Connolly, Director, C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa and Associate Professor in Anthropology at the University of Memphis