Barbados Museum & Historical Society suffers from a Hoarding Mentality
Submitted by BMHS longtime member Sinsten Merriweather (BFP editor: as contrived a name as we’ve every seen!)
The Barbados Museum’s website claims they have a collection over half a million ‘artefacts‘ (yes, that’s how they spell the word to the world online) that “tells the story of the people of Barbados and preserves our history for future generations.”
“Indeed, our history is preserved for future generations because none of the current generation can access it.”
… BFP’s Cliverton
The Museum has photos of precisely 19 of those 500,000 artifacts displayed online, with no explanation, description or provenance attached.
Do you want to know what the Barbados Museum has in inventory that might interest you? Well, don’t look for a list or a working searchable database online – you’ll have to email Mrs. Marcia Griffith and in a few days she might (or might not) get back to you with further clarifications. God forbid that the museum actually put a database online where people can search for topics, historical periods, artifacts and documents that interest them!
And half the time the existing website (as limited as it is in vision and function) doesn’t work, or maybe sometimes might perhaps work… if, sort of.
Missing: A vision of Telling the History of Barbados to the world
What is the Mission Statement of the Barbados Museum & Historical Society? Your guess is as good as mine and I’ve been a member for over ten years. If I had to guess, I’d say that the mission of the BM&HS is to do whatever the current management, staff and Board desire as their whim without reference to any written mission statement.
It is true that in the last ten, and especially the last five years, the leadership have done some wonderful things with little money. In particular some of the bus tours of the island (not many recently though) awakened a thirst for Bajan history amongst some of the young people.
… the Barbados Museum is falling down disastrously in making history accessible to the people. In this day, that means online – not just certain items displayed in a glass case to those who visit a physical building. The mission statement should be to make Barbados history available to anyone around the world, instantly, and in so doing to encourage people to take an interest in Barbados and to visit our country (and to spend their money while doing so!)
What the Barbados Museum should be Continue reading