It is important that we know the history of our people and nation; many know this and do as much as they can to contribute in helping preserve history. But if you live in a small community, a small town, or even a village, it is still important to acknowledge and preserve the history of your local area. The smallest almost insignificant things and places can become something great, just like how one of British empire’s colonies became a great country today. Knowing how the little things start out will help future historians piece out their history… our story.
I’ve been to towns with small museums that showed history that dates back only a few decades ago, but it showed how much they cared for their community and how important it is for them to share a history that makes them truly connected, truly one with each other as a community. From something as small as a senator once stopping by at their dinners for a cup of coffee, before he was even in office, to the significant hidden history of the origin of a great political or industrial leader, the reason for collecting these memories and making a museum is to allow the growth of our identity not just as Americans but as the citizen of the state, county, and city/town.
It is important to take pride in your community, as it is one of the major influences of your growth as a person. People have been looking at the negative side of stereotypes, but if positive it gives a sense of pride for the place you hail from. Like how people from Minnesota are all thought to be nice and mild-mannered, though it is impossible that there is no rude person from there it shows how dominant is the personality mild-mannered people are there. It is their history that determines the overall identity of a community. Instead of allowing hearsay to determine the identity of the community, allow a museum to show the accurate history of your people.
Of course education is the most important reason why a community museum is a worthwhile project. It is obvious enough that a majority of the youth is interested in local history; in fact they probably don’t like history as a whole. But we cannot allow this to take away their choice to one day have a place to look when they want or need to. Especially since the internet often don’t have much data on local history of small towns.
The best way to start one is by making the museum at the local public library, that way it can easily be accessed by people looking for local history. I think the pairing is a perfect one, both on how the two are related and how cost effective it would be. Most libraries need to have more engaging ways to attract people to reading, and museums are great but when it’s time to look at the history in-depth, books can are excellent.
A place where people can learn more about their community and in a way their selves, is always a worthwhile endeavor.