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Museum Visit Photo Essay

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FC: The Nanjing Massacre Museum | Jessica Harvey

1: On December 13, 1937, Japanese forces captured Nanjing and for six weeks committed war crimes of rape and murder. The museum, memorial hall and grounds are built on top of an execution and mass burial site. The complex commemorates the victims and gives visitors a place to reflect on the past in relation to the future (Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall website).

2: Several departments work together to ensure guests have a pleasant initial experience. The security guards manage crowd control and can direct guests to the visitor service center. Visitor service staff can use the purple map to direct guests and provide them with additional information. The facilities manager maintains the physical appearance of the museum entrance and the visitor service center.

3: The public relations officer acts as the liaison between the museum and all media outlets. Here army officers are visiting the museum and the public relations department might use this opportunity to "promote the activities and mission of the institution” in order to generate community interest (Schlatter, 2008).

4: Educators and curators work together to create exhibit content. A cohesive story is generated and objects are selected from the collections to highlight important themes. Educators help distill and refine the curator's vision and might decided that some information is better utilized in a different format (Hakala, 2009) such as an audio tour or interactive technology component. | Exhibition designers, planners and preparators are responsible for different stages of installation. Some of their tasks include fabricating dividers to shape visitor flow, building object displays, creating and hanging graphics and labels and overseeing the placement of technological devices, lights and security cameras.

6: The architect designed the museum to display several of the mass burial remains. This decision directly influences the conservator, curator and/or registrar's jobs because the bones must be monitored for deterioration. A conservator could suggest the proper measures needed to control the bones’ environment and “maintain them as nearly as possible in an unchanging state” (Ballestrem et al., 1978-84).

7: The archivist is responsible for the “proper storage of [the museum's oral history] records” and helps “scholars and the interested public” research archival binders (Glaser, 1996). They collate forms provided for visitors to share their relevant histories. The touch screen computers provide supplemental information to interested guests and are a collaborative effort between the archival, curatorial, education and IT departments.

8: The facilities manager is responsible for the upkeep of interior and exterior museum spaces. They organize the cleaning of the building and supervise the sculpture park's ground keeping staff. The facilities manager must also maintain the power generator and the separate office buildings used by museum employees.

9: References Ballestrem, A., Bridgland, J., von Imhoff, Isar, R., H. C., McMillan, E., and Perrot, P. N. (1978-1984). The Conservator-Restorer: a Definition of the Profession. Retrieved from http://www.icom-cc.org/47/definition-of-profession/ Glaser, J.R., and Zenetou, A. (1996). Museums: A place to work: Planning museum careers. New York, NY: Routledge. Hakala, J. (2009, January 7). Interview with Jim Hakala [MP# File} Retrieved from http://www.sandboxstudios.org/clientfilemanager/JHU/601/interviews/JimHakala.mp3 Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall. Retrieved from http://www.nj1937.org. Schlatter, N.E. (2008). Museum careers: A practical guide for students and novices. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.

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  • By: Jessica H.
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