Podcasts: BC Museum Portraits Project

As someone who loves studying community museums, I am often frustrated that they do not have a lot of information available about their own histories.

So I was really excited to see the BC Museum Portraits Project. The podcast mini series is a collaboration between the BC Museums Association and Spencer Stuart, which aims to provide an institutional memory of the province’s museums. The podcasts are available here.

Course Application

I am excited to use the podcasts in a module on the historical development of museums in what is now known as Canada for our museum management course.

The objective is to better understand the development of museums in order to consider the causes of contemporary issues or opportunities.

Here is my current plan:

  • Students will each have to listen to the episode of their choice as a required reading
  • At the beginning of the “activity” class, they will be given some time to review their notes and prepare a mini presentation
    • The presentation should introduce the museum and state 3 – 5 interesting things they learnt about the institution from the podcast episode they chose (and additional googling maybe?).
    • I will give the following questions as prompts: Where do/did its collections come from? When/why was it founded? Did they discuss or explain any recent changes in their practices?
  • Students will be divided into small groups. For most of the remaining time (classes are 1.5 hours), they will:
    • Take turns presenting the information to their small groups.
    • Work together to identify common themes and significant differences in the museums’ development.
  • To end the class, we will come back together and each group will be asked about the similarities / differences.

I am excited to see what common themes the students identify!


Thoughts? Do you have any suggestion on how I could modify the plan so it is more useful to students?

Have you listened to the podcast? Do you have a favorite?

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