THE FIELD MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY PROGRAMS MIXING NEW TECHNOLOGY WITH OLD COLLECTIONS
The Field Museum’s latest exhibit, Specimens, tells the story of the 30 million specimens in the museum’s collection that are not on display and why they are important using videos, computer games, CT scans, a variety of social media, and special recording booths located around the city that allows members of the public to add their own voice to the exhibit. Traditional museum events such as Members’ Nights, two days when members of the museum can tour behind the scenes and see collections and learn about current research at the museum, are as popular as ever and expanding. Additional events such as Dozin’ With The Dinos, ID Day, Cinema Science, WeDigBio, and Meet-A-Scientist have been added along with evening programs for adults such as Base Camp and popup museum collections displayed at local bars. These events offer the opportunity to examine real specimens from the collections and to learn about the research that goes on at the museum, but in a personal one-on-one interaction between museum scientists and the public. As collections are digitized and made available online and current trends in mobile technologies are attracting the attention of larger audiences, museums need to continue to make actual specimens available and provide more opportunities for the public to interact with museum collections and staff on a deeper level.