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Museum Mondays: Archaeological society, curators’ consortium make use of museums

April 21, 2014 at 7:42 am

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The Beloit College museums’ principal audience is the Beloit College community, but the museums also maintain broad connections in the stateline area with avocational and professional groups sharing interests in archaeology and museology. Last week two of our affinity partners, the Three Rivers Archaeological Society and the Casual Consortium of Curators, visited campus for meetings.

The Three Rivers Archaeological Society is a group of stateline archaeology enthusiasts, both avocational and professional, that meets monthly and rotates between the Beloit Public Library, Macktown Living History in Rockton, and the Logan Museum. TRAS is a chapter of both the Illinois Association for Advancement of Archaeology and the Wisconsin Archaeological Society. Last Monday the group met to hear about the Logan Museum’s fieldwork in Africa between 1925 and 1930. In 1925, assistant curator Alonzo Pond traveled across the Sahara Desert of Algeria from north to south in a motorized caravan. He collected objects from Tuareg and Berber people he met along the way. In subsequent years, Pond conducted archaeological fieldwork at sites across northern Algeria. TRAS saw a short presentation by Logan curator of exhibits and education Dan Bartlett about Pond’s work and watched excerpts from motion picture film taken during the 1925 Saharan expedition. Then the TRAS group moved into the Logan lab to examine ethnographic and archaeological material collected by Pond’s teams. The Beloit College Digital Collections feature photos and objects from the Logan’s African Expeditions.

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The Casual Consortium of Curators is a group of volunteer and professional museum folks who gather quarterly to share information on what’s happening in the Stateline area’s cultural and natural heritage sites. CCC participants learn from each other’s expertise. The group started their meeting on Wednesday with a tour of the Wright Museum of Art with Joy Beckman. This was followed by a presentation by Dan Bartlett titled “The Picture on the Puzzle Box” on the merits and process of institutional interpretive planning.

By hosting TRAS and CCC meetings, Beloit College’s museums support regional museum professionals, archaeologists, and enthusiasts, introduce them to college resources, and expand opportunities for our students.