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A Virtual Museum Visit for Women’s History Month

Ready for a field trip? How about a virtual field trip focusing on Women's History Month and specifically thinking about writing or researching the women in your family tree?

Google arts

Consider checking out Google Arts and Culture. According to Google, this website is "a non-profit initiative. We work with cultural institutions and artists around the world. Together, our mission is to preserve and bring the world's art and culture online, so it's accessible to anyone, anywhere."

You can search, browse, bookmark, and view exhibits on your computer or mobile device via the Google Arts and Culture app. I find the app a great way to pass the time when I'm stuck waiting at an appointment.

A search on the phrase "Women's History" brings up 32 collections and 151 stories. Those virtual exhibits include:

I highly recommend browsing through the stories since some of the collections don't have obvious connections with women's history, but the stories do since they are individual online exhibits.

I'm always amazed at the items found on this website. While you might expect art from great museums worldwide (and you'd be right), there are also genealogically relevant materials like records, letters, and history. No, this isn't a website to research. Instead, it's a website to explore and better understand your ancestor's world.

There are several ways to search the website, but I'd recommend searching (click on the magnifying glass) using a topic, historical event, or place. If you want to search by a specific repository, click on the three lines in the top left of the website and then click on Collections and browse alphabetically or using a map. Besides museums, don't forget that you might find items from libraries and archives. As I browsed various archives, I found this exhibit from the Arkansas State Archive on Home Demonstration Clubs, something your female ancestor may have been involved in.

Arkansas 1

Arkansas 2

Now you may be thinking, "that's nice, but what does this have to do with genealogy?" Museum exhibits are a visual representation of our family history. They provide a way to view a specific time, place, and event. And the museum exhibits may contain explanatory information that can help with our research. For example, consider the Library and Archives Canada exhibit on 19th-century marriage listed above. The exhibit focuses on courtship and marriage with a case study told via letters and documents. This allows the family historian to become more familiar with practices in this time period.

LAC 2LAC 2

Take a virtual field trip and see how it can inform your own family history research.

 

Gena Philibert-Ortega is an author, instructor, and researcher. She blogs at Gena's Genealogy and Food.Family.Ephemera. You can find her presentations on the Legacy Family Tree Webinars website.

 

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