Thursday, 11 April 2019

Museums and the Web: First Timer Tips

This past week a few of my colleagues from the McMaster Museum of Art and I attended the 2019 Museums and the Web conference in beautiful Boston, Massachusetts. It was my first time, and I thought it might be useful to put together a few first-timer tips based on my experience. 

1. Pace yourself 

It’s a big and fantastic conference! The actual conference-proper was Thursday-Saturday, but Wednesday had workshops and Tuesday a wonderful field trip to the museums at Harvard. This is a lot! It can easily be overwhelming, so check out point #2 below.

2. Go with a plan 

Antiquities at the Harvard Semitic Museum
There are lectures, papers presented, workshops, lightning talks, exhibitions, demonstrations…. So much to do and see! Checking out the schedule ahead of time (posted on the Museums and the Web website) will really help you decide what your ultimate goals are. Many papers presented were from folks in the middle of the pilot projects at their intuition. Some were from MA and PhD students, presenting their theses. Others were very step-by-step practical guides, and some were very frank with challenges, failures, successes, and tips.

3. See the sights 

Museums and the Web moves around to a different location each year; 2018 was Vancouver, 2017 was Cleveland, and this year was Boston. The city has so many cultural institutions to visit, not all of which are included in your conference schedule, but which may offer very valuable learning opportunities. Hot tip: really make sure you read through all the perks included in your registration. Too late I found out that the Isabella Stewart Gardner admission was included with my conference badge (though I ultimately don’t mind giving them my admission fee. It’s an amazing place!)

4. Do the tour

As this was my first Museums and the Web I’m not sure if they have a field trip every year, but if they do, I’d say consider going! There was a cap of 30 people for the trip, so make sure you sign up early if you’re interested. This year we visited several museums at Harvard, each of which offered incredible demonstrations of educational approaches and programming that they’re doing.

5. Divide and conquer 

There is nearly endless sessions to attend; in many instances there are several happening at once, so you need to make a choice. If you can swing it, go with a colleague (or make friends with someone and share notes!) That was you can “attend” multiple sessions, all without the help of Hermione’s time-turner.

Botticelli exhibit at the Isabella Stewart Gardner

 6. Stay on top of Museum and the Web’s twitter feed while you’re there

 Helpful details are shared; you might even catch a glimpse of yourself on the feed! Because there’s so much happening this is an option to keep you dialed in.

7. Consider sessions that aren’t directly related to your area 

It’s awfully hard to choose what sessions to attend; sometimes they sound incredibly connected to what you do, and others sound like they’re not! But this is a suggestion to go to those left-field-sounding sessions. Frankly, sessions that are directly related to what you do might just duplicate info you already know, whereas you may get some incredible gems in the most unexpected places.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

HME Meeting tonight RESCHEDULED

HME Meeting tonight RESCHEDULED due to inclement weather
From Tues Feb 12 to Tues Feb 19

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Exhibit Text Workshop from Halton Heritage Services

The next Haldimand Norfolk Cultural Association meeting is an Exhibit Text Workshop from Halton Heritage Services

REGISTER by end of day WED NOV 21!
contact Natalie at, 905-772-0560
When: Tuesday Nov. 27, 2018   9am – 4pm
Where: Ruthven Park National Historic Site, 243 Haldimand Hwy 54, Cayuga ON N0A1E0
Participants in this workshop will explore what makes good exhibit text and how to produce it. Working with Heritage Services staff, you will:
·         Discuss types of public-facing museum text, the types of museums in which they are found and how text is used in different kinds of museums;
·         Work through examples of museum text, evaluating strengths and weaknesses;
·         Review guidelines and principles for museum text, including word count, sentence and paragraph length, grammar, vocabulary and readability; and
·         both individually and in groups, practice writing and critiquing exhibit text.
There will be a cap on the number who can attend. The only charge is a $10 membership fee for non-members.
Contact Natalie at:, 905-772-0560

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Recap: HME Behind-the-Scenes at Museums of Mississauga

Yesterday HME visited the Museums of Mississauga's Benares Historic Home for an awesome Behind-the-Scenes tour lead by HME member Lindsay Doren. Thank you so much to Lindsay, Merri, and all the folks at Museums of Mississauga for hosting us!

Stay tuned in the coming days for details on our planning session for 2018-2019!


Thursday, 31 May 2018

HME Behind-the-Scenes: Museums of Mississauga

Join us for our behind-the-scenes visit to Museums of Mississauga's Benares Historic Home, followed by dinner at Capra's Kitchen where we'll be planning our 2018-2019 HME year!

We will meet at Benares Historic House (1507 Clarkson Rd N, Mississauga, ON L5J 2W8) for 4:30, where we will receive a tour by colleagues from Museums of Mississauga.

Behind-the-scenes tours have been very popular HME events; you can network with colleagues, ask and see how fellow HME members work in their own institutions, and engage with new ideas in a novel setting.

Following our tour, we'll head over to Capra's Kitchen (1834 Lakeshore Rd W, Mississauga, ON L5J 1J7) for dinner and our annual planning meeting! The drive from Benares to the restaurant is about 3 minutes.

Year end meetings are important, because it's where the upcoming schedule of HME is planned.
Can't make it, or missed out on your spot? Please email one of your HME coordinators to have your suggestions/ideas heard, and inform the upcoming HME year of 2018-2019!

NOTE: The tour will be FREE, but dinner is at the cost of the attendee.

Tickets will be available until June 20 or when they sell out!

HME visits the Hamilton Public Library Makerspace!

On Monday May 27 HME members visited the Hamilton Central Library Makerspace! We had a guided tour of the various spaces, followed by some chatting and snacks at the nearby Mulberry Street Coffeehouse.

Below are some notes from the visit.

  • Opened April 2016
  • Makerspaces open same time as library, but need to close about 30 mins before
    Sound studio
  • Sound studio: can make reservations, most popular space in Makerspace, have garageband and audacity
  • If you want to edit music, can do it from any Mac in HPL
  • could bring in your own instruments
  • Some people record podcasts
  • Maker studio: Most everything is free for someone in good standing with their membership, but people pay for materials
  • With 3D printer, staff operates it
  • Don’t have to be a 3D designer, some programs are thingiverse, tinkercad
  • Table top scanner
  • Smaller branches have converters for VHS, scanners, convert at 1:1, can also scan negatives and slides, Central is the only branch that has cassette tape to PC device
    3D printer at work, along with some printed objects
  • All Mac have complete Adobe suite
  • There’s a request process on their website where people can suggest differnt things for the HPL to have
  • Large scale printer
  • Gets a lot of use during art crawls and supercrawl
  • Charge by paper and ink, have to run the print first before they know how much it will cost, but still fairly inexpensive
  • Vinyl cutter/printer
  • Any image can be made into a sticker (also has device to cut out vinyl lettering)
Some of the textile tools in the Makerspace

  • Embroidery machine
  • Janome Memory Craft 500E
  • Can use almost any image and it’ll convert it to embroidery
  • Fabric up to light denim?
  • Frosh week folks have used it for their overalls
  • Video/photo studio: They have cameras, but people are welcome to bring in their own equipment
  • Vinyl printer for stickers
Vinyl stickers with our logo!
  • Can book online
  • Can’t book same day, can book up to 7 days ahead, only 1 space at a time
  • If it’s on your library card, you have to be here
  • Demographics: all over the map
  • Mostly people between 20-30
  • Stores will print (from Hamilton Centre)
  • Groups: ask first
  • Sometimes teachers can arrange special tasks that get kids to use all he different stations
  • Usually have programs on Saturday mornings at 10
  • Bring library card, photo id, sign a waiver (eg can’t print a weapon)
Delicious snacks from the Mulberry Street Coffeehouse

Thursday, 26 April 2018

HME at Halton Region Heritage Exchange

On April 12, HME coordinators Luke Stempien and Teresa Gregorio presented at the Halton Region Heritage Exchange in Acton. Attendees learned about what we do at HME, and were invited to join our group.

This is the second annual Halton Heritage Exchange, and is a great place to meet, network, and learn more from colleagues in the heritage field.

Presentations were diverse, including volunteer-run local history museums to a representative from the OMA.

Interested in learning more? You can see the presentations on the Heritage Exchange website here.