Sunday, August 11, 2013

Ohio History Center

Last month I visited the Ohio History Center.  It was a short visit and I intend to go back soon, but I was able to check out a few of their exhibits including The Nature of Ohio, Ohio: Centuries of Change, Follow the Flag and Connecting to Your History.  I also visited the Ohio Village to see friends who are costumed interpreters this summer.

I spent most of my time in The Nature of Ohio and Connecting to your History exhibits.  The Nature of Ohio exhibit is fairly large and focuses on the plants, animals, geology, geography and climate of Ohio.  It features extinct animals that used to live in the area - including a huge mastodon skeleton!  

I was most interested in the plants section of the exhibit and I loved how some of the plants are displayed - especially the framed herbarium specimens.  I worked in the Floyd Bartley Herbarium at Ohio University when I was a student and spent a lot of time preparing plant specimens like the ones on display.

My favorite exhibit I visited was the Connecting to Your History exhibit, which is all about family history and genealogy.  I'm very interested in my own family history and use to do research.  This exhibit allows visitors to do the same - there is a computer in the back corner of the room with set-up and pencils and paper to make notes of what you discover.  There's also a display that includes tips on how to preserve family heirlooms and a map where you can place a sticker for where you were born, where your parents were born and where their parents were born (there were a TON of stickers on Ohio!).  The state of Ohio is featured by itself on the map so local visitors can be more exact in their placement of stickers.  

I loved the tree in the room - its leaves have old family photos on them, making it a real 'family tree!'  

There are certain spots throughout the museum that encourage visitors to snap a photo of themselves and share it with the Ohio Historical Society Group on Flickr.  I don't have a Flickr account, but I snapped a few shots of myself in the Ohio: Centuries of Change exhibit.  Check out the photos in the Flickr group - there are some very talented photographers contributing their work!

I visited about a week before the newest exhibit, 1950s: Building the American Dream, opened (unfortunately I'm posting this review pretty late, the exhibit opened on July 13th!). I will definitely be back to check this exhibit out! Here's a video about the exhibit: Exhibition takes immersive look at 1950s.