Indianapolis as a Classroom

One of the great benefits of the SHA experience is the variety of institutions in and around Indianapolis available for  SHA’rs to visit and learn from. As Michelle Moon, a member of the Class of 2007, once noted in suggestions to the incoming Class of 2008, “Indianapolis is a classroom, take advantage of it.”

The SHA curriculum also includes  several “formal” field trips, including a day on museum leadership at the Benjamin Harrison Home, Indiana Medical History Museum, and the Eiteljorg.

The Medical History Museum is a gem, and truly unique. (So unique that its former part-time employee, Jeff Kollath (SHA 2009) says its one of the only places he continues to donate to despite the fact that he no longer works there!)

So it was with great interest that I came across this article via a Google Alert. For those of you who’ve attended SHA, I know you’ll appreciate seeing it. For those of you who are considering SHA, perhaps this story might pique your interest.

Museum’s Brain Collection Could Hold Vital Clues: Researchers Work With Indiana Medical History Museum:

Me? My stomach is way too weak for that place! But we really appreciate having it on the SHA curriculum.

Bob Beatty


Posted on January 19, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I thought the mix of museums in Indianapolis added tremendously to the SHA experience. We had representatives of the full range of museums and historical societies within easy travel distance to be our case studies. The Indiana Historical Society, medical museum, Eitlejorg, Harrison House, Conner Prarie…Classmates and I made our own trips to the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, and the State Museum. One of my most affecting visitor experiences ever was our informal evening trip to the Levi Coffin House in Fountain City (thanks to Gerry Reilly, our classmate who worked with them). Going through a well-documented Underground Railroad site in the dark by flashlight was chilling.

    I’d like to visit Indianpolis again so that I could spend more time at all these museums as well as share them with my partner!

  2. I think it’s excellent to see this museum going beyond simply displaying what they have and actually using what they have to make a difference–after all, I think that is something that all museums should aspire to in one way or another.

    (But, I’m with you, Bob, it was definitely a tough place to be in–confronting many of the objects in the museum was certainly a challenge)

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