Why Share a Museum Memory?

Remember the first time you visited a museum or a science center? Remember how excited and inspired you were by the place and its contents? Has this visit had a lasting impact on your life and possibly your career? Most probably it did.

Maybe it was not your first visit, but every one of us has at least one special memory about visiting a museum or a science center. Maybe it was a zoo, an aquarium, or a planetarium that left a memorable impact on you. Maybe that special visit was to a museum/center you visited after you started your career; maybe it is the museum/center where you work now.

Whatever museum or center it was/is, whenever this special moment occurred, whether you were in kindergarten or about to retire, sharing a museum memory is a great way to remind yourself and inspire others within the field, both professionals and newcomers, with the magic that is communicating culture and science to the general public.

How to Develop a Museum Memory?

  1. Ask yourself these questions:
    • When/where was your first (or special) visit to a museum/science center (including zoos, aquariums, planetariums, and similar facilities)?
    • How old were you? Who was with you? What was your reaction?
    • Were you a visitor, a student, a volunteer, or a professional?
    • What role has the museum/center played in your life?
    • Did the visit inspire your career? If so, how?
  2. Keep it brief; submissions should be no longer than 1,000 words. The best stories focus on a particular moment rather than an entire career.
  3. Include images; photos make the most of every story, and some are so good they stand on their own. (JPEG files, 300 dpi resolution minimum.)

Tips

  • Objects and images are a great way to stimulate memory and imagination. Look at souvenirs and pictures from your adventures in museums and science centers to remind yourself of how you felt when visiting.
  • Freewriting helps you get to the heart of the matter and cut through the censor. The trick is to write fast, without stopping. Do not worry about grammar, spelling, or whether what you are writing makes sense; save this for the editing phase.
  • Unlocking the Senses; it is so easy to default to the visual, even though sound, smell, taste, and touch are equally, if not more, suggestive.
  • Story Checklist; if you have got a beginning, middle, end, and your description is rich in details, then your memory is ready.