February 8, 2023
It has been a while since I wrote about my previous experiences in the museum field. I decided to revisit the memories and share more of what I experienced. This year marks the tenth year I have been working in the museum field. To read about the other experiences I have had, check out the links below. After my time at the Long Island Museum, I gained experience at the Long Island Maritime Museum and the Historical Society of Greater Port Jefferson.
For a brief time, I volunteered at the Historical Society of Greater Port Jefferson. Also referred to as Port Jefferson Historical Society, the Historical Society of Greater Port Jefferson is located in the downtown area of the village not too far from the Bridgeport Port Jefferson Ferry dock. The Historical Society operated a historic house museum called the Mather House Museum. While I was there, I provided both tours of the house and since I had just started training, I gave visitors an introduction to the history of the house before they started tours with another tour guide. The house not only was a historic house museum, but it also served as a place of residence a woman lived in part of the house, she paid rent, and part of my responsibilities was to sort through mail and leave her mail at a designated place for her to pick up. Also, I was responsible for counting and recording the number of donations made that day. I volunteered at the Long Island Maritime Museum when the Historical Society of Greater Port Jefferson closed for the season.
I became a volunteer at the Long Island Maritime Museum in West Sayville, New York. During my time there, I worked in education, collections, volunteer, and visitor services. When school groups arrived at the museum, I taught students Long Island maritime history by guiding groups to each part of the museum campus to discuss the significance of each building and what is the connection to the overall narrative of Long Island maritime history. I also created word searches, crossword puzzles, and matching games to provide activities for kids to do during public programs and extra activities for school and spring vacation programs. I compiled information for the kids’ Bay Days summer discovery program to be mailed out to families looking for summer programs to participate in; before they were mailed, I placed insert information into the brochures and sealed them with stickers.
In addition to working within educational programs, I also worked on collections and volunteer services. I worked in the archives to update the collection list in the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and transferring the data from the spreadsheet into the Past Perfect collections program. Also, I scanned books and photographs into Past Perfect to help preserve them. I also worked on organizing the volunteers’ sailing hour records for the boat they sail for visitors to ride on called the Priscilla while working at the visitor service desk. About sixty volunteers signed up to sail Priscilla and I went through each record between May and October of 2016 to record how many days each of the volunteers sailed.
While I was at the front desk, I answered phone calls, charged admission for museum exhibits, and ran the gift shop. I supervised the gallery in which the front desk was located and what was going on outside on the museum campus. Inside the gift shop, I kept track of the inventory as well as sold items from the shop; I made sure that at the beginning and at the end of the day I counted the cash drawer to keep it balanced, and have enough change for the transactions. At the end of the day, I recorded the admission and gift shop income for the day. I also worked during their Boat Burning event that takes place each October, and I collected donations during the event.
I was able to continue to learn more about Long Island history in these experiences. In the past, I knew more about early American history and Victorian era history then on Long Island in addition to what I learned at the Long Island Museum I learned about maritime history.
Museum Memories: Long Island Part One
Museum Memories: Noah Webster House
Museum Memories: Connecticut Landmarks Historic Houses in Hartford
Museum Memories: Stanley-Whitman House