HIST 395 – Intro to Museum Curation

This is a special course taught by Jennifer Dickerson, former curator of the Mission Inn Museum (Riverside, Calif.) and was then the brand new curator of history at the San Bernardino County Museum. Professor Dickerson built upon the concepts learned in Museum Methods, this time with an emphasis on the challenges and responsibilities of a museum curator. In her capacity as curator of history, we went on a behind-the-scenes tour of the SB County Museum, where we examined her own challenges at a museum currently experiencing growing pains as it transitioned from a general museum housing the science and animal collections of local hunters and scientists to a functioning museum interpreting SB County’s history and culture. We also reflected on the unique situations that may occur in museums that hold objects belonging to Native Americans. Conservation practices and concerns were also discussed and analyzed. As a final project, I gave a presentation comparing and contrasting the curatorial aspects of two museums.