Throughout the course of the semester, I have had an amazing opportunity to research and handle various artifacts from Pre- Hispanic Mexican cultures. I worked with figures from Veracruz, Colima, and the Chupicuaro culture, as well as village scenes and hollow figures from Jalisco. I was able to gain hands on experience handling and critically evaluating artifacts for damage and unique characteristics. Then, I recorded my observations in the artifacts’ catalog records in PastPerfect, updating the description and condition fields of each record. This work provided me with a glimpse into the technicalities of keeping good museum records. I now have a deeper appreciation for the amount of work and time it takes to properly care for and store artifacts.
Along with observing the artifacts to enhance the catalog records, I completed research to supplement their cultural history. This information was used to create a digital exhibit with the tool, Esri Story Maps. I incorporated information from the accession records, catalog records, and information gathered through my research to provide an interactive visual for individuals to engage with.
The digital exhibit includes images of each artifact and provides a descriptive overview of its background and possible uses. A major challenged that I faced while creating the exhibit and gathering information was the lack of contextual information for many of the artifacts. These artifacts were donated years ago and their original context has been lost over time. This is crucial for ethnographic artifacts because modern day scholars identify their purpose and significance through provenance and location of discovery.
Overall, this invaluable experience taught me new skills involving museum curation and digital design. This internship allowed me to connect my passion for anthropology to my passion for Communication by providing a platform for other individuals passionate about the history of humanity to get involved.