Indiana Daily Student

Historical Society celebrates 100th anniversary

Museum to showcase exhibits of local interest

The Monroe County Historical Society is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year of promoting history in Monroe County.\nThe society now consists of the Monroe County Historical Museum, the genealogy library and gift shop. Carrie Hertz, a 26-year-old IU student working on her Ph.D. in folklore, worked at the museum for two years. \n"There is a great deal to interest people at the museum," Hertz said. "It celebrates the community in which we live, honors those who have shaped our social and physical landscape and explores the multiple groups that make up the fabric of our daily lives." \nHertz said her favorite exhibit at the museum is one she put together called "Facing the Inevitable: Mourning and Mortuary Practices of Monroe County." \n"While death is an emotional and physical fact of human life that all individuals must face, the way in which we acknowledge and deal with death is very different," Hertz said. "This exhibit explores how different groups and individuals in Monroe County face the inevitability of death."\nShe said people enjoy museums because they are filled with interesting things.\n"I love museums and how they can act as a mirror for culture," Hertz said. "There is something especially powerful about tangible, three dimensional objects that cannot be reproduced on computer screens or in books."\nKari Price, the executive director of the society, said this is the 25th anniversary of the museum and also the 25th anniversary of the Bloomington Playwrights Project. The two organizations are participating in a joint enterprise. \nPrice said students should visit the museum because it gives them a sense of place. She said the museum is always looking for volunteers and interns. \nSue Shelden is a member of the Collections and Exhibits Committee at the museum. \n"I think it is interesting that 100 years ago, people were concerned about history in Monroe County," Shelden said. "Bloomington was so new. It's hard to imagine that they were concerned about collecting history."\nShelden said the genealogy library offers many land and census records for Monroe County.\n"It's a great place to learn to research," Shelden said. "It has information from all over the state."\nThe Monroe County Historical Society's goal was to have a museum in its first years, Collections and Exhibits Committee member Gayle Cook said. \n"It took them 75 years to build a museum," Cook said. \nPrice said the museum is offering many interesting exhibits. Besides the mortuary exhibit, the museum also has exhibits about summer clothing in 1905 and an exhibit that honors the 100th anniversary of medicine in Monroe County.\nIn November, an exhibit on Clara Kinsey, wife of sex, gender and reproduction researcher Alfred Kinsey, will showcase her life in conjunction with the Elizabeth Sage Historic Costume Collection.\nThe Monroe County Historical Museum is located at 202 E. Sixth St. near the Monroe County Public Library. It is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $2 for adults and $1 for children under 12.

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