I was privileged to visit the Upcountry History Museum in Greenville, South Carolina on 15th July 2016. The trip was an assignment from the National Evaluation of Museum Organization (NEMO). It was my first assignment and NEMO gave it to me since I am stationed in the upstate of South Carolina. This meant I was the closest to the museum. The purpose of the trip was to evaluate the museum. Some of the objectives were to learn its standards and best practices, its niche, the objects present at the facility, among others. Below is a report of my visit to the museum. In it are the activities carried out and the important information obtained that would be beneficial to NEMO.
Personnel and Authorization
The assignment was handed to me from the national office of the National Evaluation of Museum Organizations. The orders were to visit the Upcountry History Museum in Greenville and perform an evaluation of it. The organization also provided me with my contacts at the facility who would guide and help me throughout the evaluation. I was also given the contact of an Administrative head of Furman University which runs the museum. I called the contact and expressed my desire to visit the museum and perform and evaluation. My offer was accepted, and the date to visit was communicated. The adequate preparation was made before embarking on the field assignment. First, I sought the help of a fellow workmate who would help me in photography and take notes as I performed the assessment.
Delegate your assignment to our experts and they will do the rest.
The museum is located on Buncombe Street in Greenville, South Carolina. It was formally opened in September 2007 which makes it young when compared to other museums. The type of the museum is a history museum. It showcases the history of fifteen counties within South Carolina. The history displayed spans from the early eighteenth century to the present times. Moreover, the design if the exhibits at the facility does not emphasize on artifact like most museums. It focuses on technological advances (Edmond, 2016). There are various sections that were visited in the museum. We also talked to the administration that provided important information concerning the museum. Below are the descriptions of the management, amenities and facilities, and lastly the use of technology in the museum.
The top executive director of the Upcountry History Museum is Dana L. Thorpe. She has been the director since 2013. She took over from Ken Johnson and had continued the legacy of good management. She is a national leader in historical museum management, which has given her the ability to be offering quality leadership for the museum. Several other members of staff work under her, from the finance manager, Tammy Burton to the receptionists that receive visitors into the facility. The Museum also require help from outside such as when giving lectures alongside historical presentations. The employees offer professional services and are friendly to the patrons. The staff does a great job of living up to their mission, which is to connect people, history, and culture.
Amenities and Facilities
The museum boasts a number of amenities and facilities. These include meeting rooms, wireless internet connectivity, a free car and Bus Park, a gift shop among others. The rooms within the museum include a conference room, lobby, a resource room and the theater, which can accommodate up to eighty guests. The reception is the largest room at the museum and can accommodate up to five hundred guests. Appendix A provides the floor plan of the facility while Appendix B provides some pictures of the Museum. There are also benches all through the museum that guests can rest in the course of their trip through the facility.
The museum also has multiple artifacts on display both physically and virtually. These displays offer the visitors with a upcountry history that shaped the region and the country as a whole. Some of the things that are addressed are the people that shaped history, products such as textile products, and contemporary issues in the society such as racism. The experience is also very interactive, and the guests even have the opportunity try on costumes to get connected to history. The facilities and amenities are also well maintained. The museum also has minimal entry fees which are very attractive. Appendix C offers a table of the charges at the museum. There is something for everyone in any age group that wants to learn about the upstate history.
The use of technology
The museum extensively employs the use of technology in rendering its services. Despite the relatively small size of the museum in comparison to other museums, it manages to offer a wide range of attractions thanks to the use of technology. Every single space is occupied by a particular attraction. An introductory film is showcased for those that want to learn some history before venturing into other attractions. There are also video interviews with contemporary people that help the guest learn about the history. Screens and touch panels are also used to display some of the artifacts virtually. This makes it possible to change the items regularly on display, thus making it a unique experience every time one visits the museum.
Recommendations and Conclusion
Below are the recommendations as a result of the visit to the museum
Other museums and organizations need to adopt and incorporate technology into their operation in creative ways to enhance the provision of services to their customers
Good management and professionalism are important to the success of the Upcountry History Museum. The staff at museums and other public facilities should be tolerant and able to understand the needs of the different clients they deal with.
The museum offers other services such as hosting events that other organizations can tap into to supplement their income.
In conclusion, a lot of lessons were learned about the management and running of museums from the trip. This provided an insight into improvements that need to be made in other museums to achieve the levels of success that the Upcountry History Museum is experiencing. The trip was effective, and I would recommend such future visits by other members of the organizations on other facilities.
Edmond, T. (2016). Upcountry History Museum (Greenville, SC). South Carolina : Furman Scholar Exchange.