Social Media in Museums

By Melanie Fernandes ‘16

This post is part of a series featuring behind-the-scenes dispatches from our Pohanka Interns working on the front lines of history this summer as interpreters, archivists, and preservationists. See here for the introduction to the series.

Social media is commonly used by organizations in order to extend their public outreach. However, social media can also be a key component of internal workings in these organizations. In reference to historic sites, this is important to recognize. Many historic sites are large and contain several different subgroups; many also work in conjunction with other sites. Boston African American National Historic Site (BOAF) partners with both Boston National Historical Park and the Museum of African American History, working with each in different respects. Because of these connections, it is important for partnering sites to be aware of what the others are doing. At BOAF, we have been working to create an e-newsletter in order to update people on what is happening at our site. In this newsletter, the challenge is not only to highlight many aspects of the park, but also give our partners an awareness of broader developments within the National Park Service as a whole. The newsletter will highlight presentations given by specific BOAF rangers, the projects interns are working on, and the work of administrative staff.

As part of her duties as a 2015 Brian C. Pohanka Intern at Boston African American National Historic Site, Melanie Fernandes speaks to a tour group in front of the c. 1806 African Meeting House, the oldest black church edifice still standing in the United States and site of the formation of the New England Anti-Slavery Society in 1832.
As part of her duties as a 2015 Brian C. Pohanka Intern at Boston African American National Historic Site, Melanie Fernandes speaks to a tour group in front of the c. 1806 African Meeting House, the oldest black church edifice still standing in the United States and site of the formation of the New England Anti-Slavery Society in 1832.

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Pohanka Reflection: Boston African American National Historic Site  

By Melanie Fernandes ‘16

My time at Boston African American National Historic Site, though brief, has given me new insight on how people view history. Right off the bat, it’s quite clear that within a city with a near-record number of historic properties, Boston African American National Historic Site is a smaller and less well-known historic site than many of its neighbors. While the park is affiliated with many other neighboring sites, it has its own unique mission: to preserve and promote the history of the African American struggle, both in the city and on a national scale, particularly during the time leading up to and through the Civil War. This is obviously a lesser-known history than that of the revolutionaries Samuel Adams and Paul Revere, but it is arguably no less interesting or significant.

Fernandes at 54th Memorial

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