Museum Studies at Tufts University

Exploring museums, ideas, and conversation

Category: collections

Cambridge Open Archives Tour

I heard from some attendees last year that these are an absolute blast. They’re certainly a rare opportunity to get behind-the-scenes.

Cambridge’s Fourth Annual Archives Crawl


The Open Archives Tour is a chance to go behind the scenes at a number of unique archives and collecting agencies in Cambridge. This year, twelve archives will be featured over four days, from July 9 through July 12. The tours are divided into four categories:


City Collections – July 9, 5:00-8:00 pm  

  • Cambridge Historical Commission
  • Cambridge Room of the Public Library
  • Cambridge Public Works Department

Harvard Collections – July 10, 3:00-6:00 pm  

  • Harvard University Archives
  • Houghton Library
  • Schlesinger Library

Cultural Collections – July 11, 5:00-8:00 pm 

  • Mount Auburn Cemetery
  • Cambridge Historical Society
  • The Longfellow House – Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site

MIT Collections – July 12, 3:00-6:00 pm  

  • List Visual Arts Center
  • Institute Archives & Special Collections
  • MIT Museum

You can sign up for one, two, three, or four tours, but you must sign up for each tour individually: $3 fee per tour. Space is limited.

Click here to register for the 2012 Open Archives Tour.

Survey on Contemporary Objects in History Museums

Please take a few minutes to help a fellow museum studies student out.

Leslie Howard, who’s completing an MA in Museum Studies from Harvard and is NEMA’s Membership Manager, is writing her thesis on collecting contemporary objects.

Do you have an opinion on whether museums should collect contemporary objects? Do you work at or know of an institution that is pursuing this? If so, please check out her survey.

Rhizome and the Digital Age

Welcome to a new guest poster, Zoe Salditch, who turned her Tufts internship into a full-time job at Rhizome!

In this day and age, our cultural artifacts are increasingly born-digital. Your papers, for example, are no longer hand written, ink on paper objects but instead a .doc file saved on your computer’s hard drive. For the last twenty years, artists engage with these new technologies, push them to aesthetic ends and create some of the most salient works of art today. Yet, many of these works of art exists in intangible forms At, we are challenged everyday with the realities of exhibiting and preserving these cultural artifacts. Today, I would like to share with you all two interesting reads from my colleagues at Rhizome.

In the latest issue of Frieze Magazine, Rhizome’s Executive Director Lauren Cornell’s essay, In the Nostalgia District, she shares her perspective on the divide that exists between the art world and artists who work primarily on the Internet. Cornell raises interesting points and as Museum Studies students certainly gives you something to think about. How to continue attracting visitors, when everything is seemingly available online for free?

Lastly, for those of you interested in the care and preservation of digital art objects, here is Sustainable Preservation Practices and the Rhizome ArtBase from Rhizome’s Digital Conservator Ben Fino-Radin. In his paper, Fino-Radin synthesizes years of research conducted by Rhizome and other leaders of digital preservation, in and outside of art institutions on digital art preservation best practices.

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