Whenever I welcome visitors in advance of presenting our introductory video in the Museum Theater, I always note how nearly everything created in the last five years that the visitor will see or experience during their visit is the result of work performed by either volunteers, or more often students from the University of Memphis. At the C.H. Nash Museum we benefit from the contributions of University of Memphis graduate assistants, both undergraduate and graduate interns, and students working on class projects.
In just the past few years, here are some of the projects these students completed at the Museum:
School Group Programs – Drumming Across Cultures, Stone Tool Program, Mystery Box, African American Cultural Heritage, Trash Talks, Prehistory to the Trail of Tears, Native Americans in Memphis, along with seven new craft programs. All of these programs are tied to the curriculum standards for public schools.
Exhibits – First Americans exhibit upgrade, Choctaw Cultural Heritage Banners, Chickasaw Cultural Heritage Banners, temporary Poverty Point culture exhibit, Hands-on Archaeology Lab, Robert Ford Projectile Point exhibit, Ethnobotany banner exhibit, Fabric Dye Process exhibit, multiple revisions of the Chucalissa Pottery exhibit, African American Cultural Heritage exhibit, Historic Era Banner exhibit, and the Geology Banner exhibit.
Other Products – Visitor Guide, Nature Trail Guide, Museum Hall Scavenger Hunt, Museum Audio Tour, re-inventory and process all University of Memphis archaeological collections, Chucalissa Introductory video, Collections Manual for the Museum, perform condition reports on all artifacts on exhibit, Medicinal Plant Sanctuary, Herb Garden & Banners, Procedure Manual for taking and curating digital photography, create digital photo database, inventory and electronic database of Museum Library, and scan twenty years of Department of Anthropology Occasional Paper Series.
The above lists do not include the contribution of students to the day-to-day functioning of the Museum and building special events such as our annual Relic Run 5k. As you can see, the C.H. Nash Museum is truly and integral part for University of Memphis where students receive training in a variety of Museum Practices and archaeological research.
Here is an important point about these projects – very often the project ideas are proposed by the students. Although we always have a list of projects in the queue, we are open to and rely on fresh ideas others bring to us as well. Our goal is to match the needs of the C.H. Nash Museum with the interests and skills of the student.
If you are a University of Memphis student, a student anywhere else, or an interested volunteer, with a project idea or you would like to plug into one of ours, stop by for a visit. As you can see, you are integral to our very operation and success and you can gain valuable experience at our Museum too!