We are closed today.
Back in the 1960s when Illinois State University and Illinois Wesleyan University still played each other in football, pranks were common among the more mischievous members of the respective student bodies. For instance, several days before the September 23, 1967 game, IWU boosters "boosted" the Illinois State Victory Bell from its locked garage on the Normal campus. It was then clandestinely moved to the Wesleyan campus and chained to the old science building.
As a college student I could not help but notice the lack of involvement from my demographic. Sure, the interns are college students, but college students are typically not the ones visiting the Museum, which is why it's important for them to have a date with the Museum, just as I did. On the first Tuesday of September, from 6 to 8 PM, college students will be able to get free Monical's pizza and free admission to the Museum.
Early on in my internship I began noticing interesting items on the censuses. While many occupations are familiar even today (photographer, dressmaker, tayloress, student), there were plenty of unusual occupations that made me investigate more...
For the longest time the response was, “probably go to grad school." But after taking a Museum Studies class at ISU and completing this internship, my answer has changed to simply “museum work."
Technology has pretty much been integrated into every aspect of our daily lives. Of course, there are times when technology isn't really appropriate. (I would argue that there really is no need for a litter box that flushes.) But, despite what some might say, I think museums across the country are doing an excellent job of figuring out when to incorporate technology, and when to leave history to speak for itself.
On September 24, 1942, four visiting entertainers were the main attraction at a “Star Victory” luncheon at the Bloomington Consistory (now the Center for Performing Arts)...
What do a chicken and a high explosive artillery shell have in common? This sounds like the beginning of a very bad joke, but here in McLean County, they do in fact share something in common!
While conducting a survey in the summer haze of the WGLT concert in downtown Bloomington, I had a conversation with two excited women who had just taken a break from dancing in the street. I asked them, “What would make you visit the McLean County Museum of History again?"
Established in 1864/1865, the Illinois' Soldiers' Orphans' Home (later renamed ISSCS) was a state-run orphanage in north Normal.
My first year, starting as a camper, I was quite nervous. What if I got bored or I didn't like the staff or worse, the kids wouldn't like me? These pesky concerns remained with me until I stepped foot into the Museum.
Union Army veteran Gilbert Henderson Bates sought, in his own eccentric way, to help heal the sectional wounds of fratricidal bloodletting.
Rachel Crothers is all but unknown today as America's most successful female playwright.
I had never imagined that I would end up in a museum, but I learned in high school that I was passionate about history, its preservation, and being a part of keeping history alive.