Tag Archives: Museum Studies

MEET THE NEW WEEKEND MANAGER » LINDSEY

You’ll find a brand new face walking the halls of Campbell House this weekend. We’re very pleased to introduce our new Weekend Manager Lindsey Marolt, a St. Louis-born-and-bred museum professional and educator. In this position Lindsey will run the Museum on weekends, keep the garden looking great and reside in the second floor Carriage House apartment at CHM. We’re glad to have Lindsey on board and had a few questions to introduce her to Campbell House Museum’s friends and followers… here are her answers!

Weekend Manager Lindsey!

Weekend Manager Lindsey!

What did you study and where?  I studied history with a minor in English at Truman State in Kirksville, MO. Then I spent the best two years of my life to date getting my MA in history museum studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program in Cooperstown, NY.

Why Campbell House?  I had admired Campbell House from afar for a while, so I jumped at the chance to be a part of it.

When you aren’t slaving away at campbell House, what else are you up to?  Well, I also work at the Missouri History Museum as a K-12 educator, Barnes and Noble as a bookseller and I pick up some tutoring work here and there. Otherwise, I like to spend my time cooking, indulging my internet addiction and watching Very Dramatic Spanish period dramas on Netflix. (Note the capitalizations. Those are some dramatic dramas.)

What’s your favorite thing about CHM so far?  I’ve really enjoyed meeting everyone who works and volunteers here and hearing their favorite stories to tell about the house and family.

iPhone or Android?  iPhone all the way.

Little known fact about you?  I often prefer stormy days to sunny ones.

Favorite color?  My wardrobe would suggest black and navy, but I think my favorite color is actually red.

Favorite book?  This question is too hard, so I’m going to go with the cliche but still 100% my favorite: Pride and Prejudice.

Favorite period of history?  That time in the 19th century when tiny New England towns experienced multiple vampire panics. It’s great, look it up. Also colonial through early federal American history is really fun because you can see some of the seeds of modern American culture but in a time that seems incredibly foreign.

And, most importantly, if you could be any flavor of lollipop, which would you be and why?  Lemon cake pop. (enough said.)

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Guest Blog: Writing the Book on Campbell House

This week we’re handing the reins over to guest blogger Dylan McCartney, a Graduate Research Assistant working with us from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Take it away, Dylan!

When I arrived at the Campbell House in August, I knew very little about Robert Campbell, Virginia Campbell, or St. Louis. I didn’t even call St. Louis home. As a graduate student in the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ Museum Studies program, the Campbell House is where I will complete a two-year assistantship. And so, since I knew nothing about the Campbells, I was naturally asked to write up the definitive document about them.

Graduate Research Assistant Dylan from the University of Missouri-St. Louis

Graduate Research Assistant Dylan from the University of Missouri-St. Louis

Specifically, it is a new, updated Docent Guidebook. If a docent leads visitors through the house on tours and relates the story of the family and house, then the Docent Guidebook does the same for docents. It is not a script, because the thing that makes a tour of the Campbell House great is that every docent builds their own tour. Instead, the guidebook provides a massive amount of information, too much to possibly fit on a single tour. The thing our docents do best is to internalize the information, relate the most important points, the things they find interesting, and the things the guest finds interesting.

To write the Docent Guidebook, I have spent the better part of five or so months diving deep into the Campbell House archives. I’ve read letters by the Campbells, poured through their receipt books, hunted down newspapers, and worked with the Campbell House Museum’s researcher, Tom Gronski. I researched the objects, the rooms, and even the history of the Museum itself. And, of course, I chatted with the docents, to see what they wanted out of a new guidebook.

touring visitors

Campbell House Docent Tom Keay leads a tour in the Master Bedroom

A new guidebook was needed because a lot of things had changed since the old one. For instance, when the old one was written, the collections hadn’t even been returned to the house after our major restoration was finished! We’re also learning more and more about the Campbells every day. Before this past summer, we didn’t know about a special cabinet in the Butler’s Pantry hallway. We only recently discovered the names of the Campbell House’s architects. And, until a couple of years ago, we weren’t even sure if the Campbells were slaveowners.

The new edition of the Campbell House Museum Docent Guidebook: Dylan's pride and joy and the product of many many hours of hard work and research.

The new edition of the Campbell House Museum Docent Guidebook: the product of many hours of research and hard work by Dylan!

A new Docent Guidebook also allowed us to correct any myths that have arisen over the years. As with anything dependent upon oral discourse, a comment made twenty years ago by one person can slowly morph into accepted fact. For instance, many visitors have been informed that Virginia Campbell spent $40,000 on the furniture in 1855. In truth, it’s impossible to tell from our archives the exact amount spent, although it is in the tens of thousands. It is also clear that Robert was buying furniture right there with her. The irony of these myths is that it obscures a wonderful story: that Robert and Virginia purchased their furniture half a continent away and shipped it all via train and boat to St. Louis. Robert was even purchasing carpeting and draperies from St. Louis by sending his brother Hugh the dimensions of the rooms!

The result of all this work is 120 pages of thoroughly sourced information about the Campbells, St. Louis, the house, and nearly anything else that we could think of. This document will serve as the go-to source for new docents, interns, researchers, and anyone else looking for a broad yet detailed summary of the Campbell’s story. So if you thought our docents were already great, come take another tour to see how we’ve managed to get even better!

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MEET THE INTERNS » DYLAN

Well, really he’s not an intern. In fact, he’s a graduate research assistant from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. (But that wouldn’t fit in the title.) Dylan joined us at the beginning of this school year and will be with us for the next two years in conjunction with his work in the Museum Studies graduate program at UMSL – we couldn’t be more pleased to have him here!

What  are you studying and where?  (well, we already covered this. He’s in the UMSL Museum Studies program)

Why Campbell House Museum? I was assigned here by my program, presumably because I worked for two years at Roseland Cottage: an 1846 house museum back home in Connecticut.

dylan

Graduate Research Assistant Dylan! Click his photo to learn more about volunteering and internship opportunities at the Campbell House Museum.

What are you working on at CHM?  Presently, I’m updating the docent guide manual and sourcing material.

When you aren’t having a blast at Campbell House, what are you up to?  Studying.

What is your favorite thing about CHM thus far?  Its archives (well thanks! We think they’re pretty swell too… check them out online here.)

iPhone or Android?  Dumb phones, thankyouverymuch.

Favorite color?  orange.

Favorite band/singer  song?  Auld Lang Syne

Andy Warhol said that everyone gets their 15 minutes of fame. What happened in your 15 minutes?  The second hand on the clock ticked 900 times. (well played, Dylan. Well played indeed…)

If you were given a yacht tomorrow (assuming you don’t already have one) what would you name it?  “Nostalgia for Infinity”

So there you have it! The next time you’re at Campbell House Museum (hopefully for our upcoming Halloween Twilight Tours) say hello, chat about his awesome program at UMSL, and help us welcome him to the Campbell family!

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