Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Disneyland and the "Great Park"

The latest entry at Yesterland.com is a retrospective of the Tomorrowland Terrace stage at Disneyland. (See photo at right.)

This summer, the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum will host a Smithsonian exhibit which will commemorate the bicentennial of the U.S. government's first attempt to chart America's coastline.

I'm confused... Today's Register states that Irvine's mayor was in D.C., angling to get a branch of the National Archives at the so-called Great Park. The article goes on to say, "Several officials signed a letter supporting that the museum establish a location in the Great Park." The word "museum" is then used several more times throughout the article.

What museum are they talking about?!? I think they're trying to use the words "archives" and "museum" interchangably. But archives are not museums, and museums are not archives.

Archives house documents and are used for research purposes. Museums house artifacts and generally use those artifacts in displays, in order to tell stories about our past. The functions of the two institutions are quite different, and the skills needed to operate them are also different.

Do I blame the Register for the mix up? No. Sadly, this is a common error that stems from the low level of importance our society (and therefore our schools) place on history.

No comments: