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Reopening plans from other institutions are available!
American Alliance of Museums

Reopening plans from other institutions are available!

Thank you to those museums who have shared with us documents about their re-opening plans, including:
Baxter Springs Heritage Center & Museum and the Kansas Route 66 Historic Byway Visitors Center
Children's Museum of Manhattan
Discovery Park of America
Everhart Museum of Natural History, Science & Art
Japanese Friendship Garden Society of San Diego
Patuxent River Naval Air Museum
Texas Historical Commission

Learn more, and consider sharing your museum's re-opening plans with the field:

Some research on what we can expect after reopening.
DATA UPDATE: How COVID-19 is Impacting Intentions to Visit Cultural Entities – May 11, 2020 - Colleen Dilenschneider

Some research on what we can expect after reopening.

As US states begin to reopen, intentions to visit cultural organizations are correspondingly increasing. It was a big week for the US in terms of states taking steps to reopen, and it was a big week for intentions to visitRead More ›


On a call about re-opening our institutions. We are concerned about requiring masks, and that people might resist. The attached is on deescalation techniques for students, but likely to work with adults as well. I also understand that insurance companies are able to point you to that kind of training.


Practical advice on reopening from Museums Manitoba!,%202020%20V2.pdf

This is an interesting analysis from Museum Hack, that suggests the kinds of things that people are looking for from us ...
People Don't Want Virtual Museum Tours; Do This Instead - Museum Hack

This is an interesting analysis from Museum Hack, that suggests the kinds of things that people are looking for from us right now. It will allow us to focus our efforts on the places where it will do the most good (at least for now). The interest in "virtual" museum tours had a stunningly short life.

For a few days in March, 2020, the world focused its attention on virtual museum tours. This attention was driven by museum closures, major media coverage, and a mighty social media effort by museums to offer an online experience to audiences. And then, just as quickly, the attention disappeared and...

From AAM and EdCom particularly for this time. Self-care is not optional, people!
Seeking Self-Care Solutions, for COVID-19 and Beyond

From AAM and EdCom particularly for this time. Self-care is not optional, people!

Support Free COVID-19 Resources for the Field The current crisis is taking a distressing financial toll on cultural organizations, and AAM is no different. The Alliance Blog is supported by members…

Does this sound like something any of you could ask your public to help with? We do know that going forward, there will ...
US National Archives

Does this sound like something any of you could ask your public to help with? We do know that going forward, there will be fewer and fewer people who can read cursive writing. I would be interested to know.

Since social distancing took stronger root in the United States in mid-March, the number of pages enhanced in the Catalog by Citizen Archivists each week has risen to about 14,000, compared to 5,000 to 6,000 before.

"In this time of great disruption and uncertainty, both our Citizen Archivist contributors and National Archives staff have stepped up their efforts in incredible fashion, continuing a long tradition of service and helping the National Archives meet its mission to make the public's records accessible," said Pamela Wright, National Archives Chief Innovation Officer.

In all that spare time you have . . . professional development from our friends at Northern States Conservation Center.
Museum Classes Online - Northern States Conservation Center

In all that spare time you have . . . professional development from our friends at Northern States Conservation Center.

Northern States Conservation Center through provides professional online continuing education in four areas of museum studies; Museum Administration and Management, Collections Management and Care, Exhibit Practices and Museum Facilities Management. Currently we offer more than 50....

History museums can lend context to the present!

History museums can lend context to the present!

The Influenza Epidemic of 1932
Tamara Edevold

There have been several “pandemics” of Influenza over the past 300 or more years. One of the earliest recorded pandemics is thought to have occurred in 1580, which spread influenza from Asia to Africa and then to Europe. It lasted over 6 months and over 8000 people died from it in Rome, and several Spanish cities were reported to be decimated. Between the years of 1700 and 2000, ten influenza pandemics have been recorded plus several smaller outbreaks. In more recent history the pandemic of 1918-1920 (Spanish Flu) is considered on be one of the most dramatic events of medical history: one scientist calling it “the greatest medical holocaust in history.” Of course this is before today’s Covid19 pandemic.

While doing research on pandemics, I came across descriptions of a similar event of influenza in our county. While not considered a pandemic, the Flu outbreak of 1932 was devastating for several families in our county.

One of the first headlines appeared in the February 25, 1932 issue: EPIDEMIC CLOSES SEVERAL SCHOOLS. The article read “An influenza epidemic has necessitated the closing of the schools in Clearbrook, Gonvick, Fosston McIntosh and Erskine. At Clearbrook the attendance was cut down to a half because of illness. Bagley apparently has escaped the epidemic, as only a few absences have been report from the school. There are a few cases in the community but they are all mild.”

Bagley did not escape for long, two weeks later in the March 10, 1932 issue of the Farmers Independent this headline appeared:

The Influenza epidemic struck Bagley last week and a large number have been confined to their homes as a result. Not since the days of the war has the flu epidemic been so widespread, but fortunately most cases are of a mild character and its victims are usually able to be about after a three of four days illness. The attendance at the local school has suffered considerable and it has been decided to close the schools for the rest of the week. The attendance has been gradually getting worse, so the school authorities thought that it would be worthwhile trying this measure.

It was not a mild case of influenza for Bagley High School basketball star Robert Courtney. (in photo) The 16 year old was reported as helping lead his team to victory in the sub-district basketball championships on Saturday Feb. 27. In 2 games he scored 11 of the 40 points made.

Nine days later he died in the Bagley Hospital. It had been thought he had a cold, but it quickly got worse, forcing him to the hospital on Thursday March 3 where he rallied, only to lose ground and die on Sunday morning March 6. Sadly this was the same illness that had killed his mother, Ora Hill Courtney, in January 1920.

Bobby was the son of George B. Courtney and brother to Harvey. His obituary appeared in the March 10, 1932 Farmers Independent where he was described as “Bright, Happy and Cheerful, Bobby was a great favorite among his acquaintances and his death cast a gloom over the entire community. He was a senior at Bagley High and would have graduated in June of 1932. He was active in athletics and the school band.”

A few months later, at Class Day Exercises, Robert posthumously received a letter in excellence in Basketball.

His classmates were of course distressed and published this resolution in the March 10th issue:
“Whereas it has pleased God Almighty, in his infinite wisdom and mercy to call to his final rest our friend and school mate Robert L. Courtney be it therefore:
Resolved that we, the student body of the Bagley High School, hereby express our sorrow and extend our heartfelt sympathy to the bereaved father and brother, and be it further:
Resolved that this resolution be printed in our local newspaper.
Committee: Viola Sollom, Senior Class; George Erickson, Junior Class; Antony Krolop, Sophomore class; Edna Anderson, Freshman Class; H. A. Jorgenson, Faculty.”
Robert’s funeral was held March 9 at the Congregational church. The pallbearers were members of the basketball team. Also reported was that several members of neighboring school’s basketball teams were in attendance and the “floral offers surpassed that of any ever seen before.”

One week later the second and third victims of the outbreak was reported. One death was reported in one sentence:
Pete Matson who for the last six years had made his home with the Robert Lundmark family near Leonard, passed away on Thursday March 10 after a brief pneumonia illness.
The other received the headline: Pneumonia Takes Another Victim.
Miss Mina Josephine Olson, just 15 years old and a freshman at Bagley, became sick on Tuesday March 8th and passed away on March 11th at the home of her aunt and uncle Mr. & Mrs. N.O. Nelson. Her family lived some 18 miles north of Fosston and Mina was staying with her aunt while she attended high school.

In WHO’S WHO IN SCHOOL LIFE, (the newspaper column written by Bagley students) reporter Louise Roedocker wrote: “The friends and schoolmates of Mina Olson, who passed away Friday will sadly miss her happy smiling presence and can only join in the prayer of countless others that God in his infinite wisdom and mercy will that her to his home where pain and sorrow is unknown.”

Over the course of the next dew weeks no less then three poems were published in the local newspaper in tribute to Mina and Robert

Some three weeks later, on April 6, Mrs. John Aune (Mary Lindgren) of Alida was reported as having died from complications of pneumonia after coming down with the flu some weeks earlier. This would have been during the last week of February or first week of March- the same time as Robert Courtney and Mina Olson had come down with the same illness. Mrs. Aune however was considerably older, being 70 years, 2 months and nine days old at the time of her death. The Vern news column, reported that Mrs. Aune was “one of those who had endured the hardships of pioneer life and had still reserved her happy and cheerful nature. A woman who was always ready to help and had been a faithful worker in the church and community.” Three ministers spoke at her funeral: Rev. Bode and Rev. Leeland spoke in the Norwegian language and Rev. Anderson in English.

Through out the months of March and April, in nearly every local news column from Winsor to Vern, school closings were reported. Winsor closed March 15 and was to remain closed until March 29. The two-week vacation was extended two more weeks on March 24th, which also covered the Easter Vacation. Mallard, Shevlin, and other rural schools did the same, closing earlier then usual for the Easter Holiday (which fell on March 27th that year) and remaining closed longer.

In the local news columns reports of whole families down with the flu were reported. In Clearbrook, the junior play, which had been postponed in mid February due to a storm, was again postponed in early March because the cast was unable to take their parts due the Flu. In the Leonard news it was reported “nearly every home in the village has been visited by the flu from one to all members of the family being ill.” The same reported in Leon “Nearly every home in the town of Leon has some of its members sick with the flu.” The correspondent for the South Holst Copley News wrote “several families of the locality are entertaining the flu the past few weeks. So far as we know all are getting better as of this writing.”

Even in the Greenwood News Notes a message of sympathy was sent out to County Agent Chase who lost his prize ewe sheep that he was keeping at Robert Brue’s farm. The sheep died from the prevalent pneumonia during the week of March 14th.

An editorial appeared on March 3 that while admonishing people to stay home, the editor did not seem to take it seriously. His prophecy however was eerily close to what did happen:

“The Flu has taken a lot of people out of circulation recently in neighboring villages. It seems a hard thing to escape when once it gets started. If you go out you will catch it. If you stay in someone will bring it to you. One of the first indications that you are about to be hallucinated by it is that your throat feels like the inside of a rain barrel after a long dry spell. If your eyes feel as if they had been sandpapered and refinished inside and out and your nose works like new plumbing, it leaks in several places unless you insist on remaining in one place, your clothes don’t fit, your temperature goes about 4 points above par, and you are too weak to blow your nose, there is a strong indication that you will be sick first thing you know. According to reliable information, one of the best things to do is go to bed whether it is your bedtime or not. The only way you can be absolutely sure that you are over it is to remain in bed until you have forgotten what is was you went there for.”
Farmers Independent, March 3, 1932

These words of warning, printed in 1932, are still good advice for 2020.

An opportunity to buff up our leadership skills in time of crisis. I checked, and didn't see a registration fee. If any ...
EdComversation || Leading From Where You Are in Times of Crisis

An opportunity to buff up our leadership skills in time of crisis. I checked, and didn't see a registration fee. If any of you register, please let us know about that.

Over the past few weeks, many of us have felt like we’ve been on shifting sand. How do we lead when times are so uncertain? During this EdComversation, we will acknowledge being in the midst of a c…

This sounds good, and terrifying.

This sounds good, and terrifying.

@C2CCare has another **FREE** webinar planned for May 6 at 2pm ET. The topic in celebration of #mayday ?? Fire Protection Strategies for Collections & Museums w/ speaker Michael Kilby Associate Director for Fire Protection, Smithsonian Institution.

Okay, museum leaders! Here's a creative way of keeping staff at work during this time (although you are likely to have t...
American Alliance of Museums

Okay, museum leaders! Here's a creative way of keeping staff at work during this time (although you are likely to have to access some of the Payroll Protection funds available through the CARES Act in order to do so). If you are not dependent on gate receipts, this might be something you could implement immediately.

"Despite losses to a significant portion of our revenue stream, we view the adjustment of our teams as a creative solution that allows the organization to continue to keep staff in place."

Learn how the National WWI Museum and Memorial is responding during the #COVID19 crisis:


Saint Paul, MN


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I know you and Rita are in touch all the time. I thought I'd get in on the Act. How are you guys doing??
Very, very cool, Claudia! I worked at the AMNH in NYC on their (now defunct) magazine ‘Natural History’ right out of college - a looooong time ago! Most fun, best job I ever had and I still think about my time at the museum quite often.