The Week in Review

The July program page has info about online programs happening this weekend and next week (and a couple of deadlines for August programs). To help you plan ahead, I've also published the August page. For online activities available 24/7, check out the Trailheads Rec Room (to the right of your screen).

Screenshot of computer desktop with photos of online meeting participants arranged in 3 rows of 5 images
Members of the Accessibility Excellence Working Group during their online meeting (screenshot)

I spent yesterday afternoon meeting with colleagues working on the PA Museums and PHMC Accessibility Excellence project. PA Museums received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services last fall, and PHMC is partnering with them on this effort. We are developing an assessment tool to help museums and historical organizations measure their accessibility to the public and a resource kit to help institutions improve. As you might expect, COVID-19 has thrown us a significant curveball. On the upside, we have continued, with the leadership of project manager Jenny Angell, to refine the assessment and work to bring it in line with some other standards programs in the field. On the other hand, we had hoped by now to be piloting the assessment tool at PHMC's Trails of History sites. With uncertainty about when sites will reopen, we are considering a number of alternatives and (yes) pivots to keep the project moving.

Screenshot from online meeting showing shared document with rows of participants above
Online meetings allow for document sharing in addition to the Brady Bunch experience (screenshot)

On a related note, Sunday, July 26, is the 30th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), landmark legislation intended to make employment, government services, and public accommodations fully accessible to people with disabilities. Clearly, the work to achieve that is still ongoing. As part of their "ADA at 30" compilation, the New York Times spoke with disability rights activists Judy Heumann, Alice Wong, and Haben Girma for an article titled "What the A.D.A. Means to Me" and provided an overview, "'Nothing About Us Without Us': 16 Moments in the Fight for Disability Rights." To learn more about disability history and disability rights advocacy, check out the Disability History Association or Disability Rights PA.

Two-story plus attic building with wooden siding, a central door on ground floor, a central window above it, two additional windows on first and second floors.
The historic Saal at Ephrata Cloister (photo via Facebook)
Singer, educator and musicologist Chris Herbert will be on NPR's Morning Edition today to talk about his recording project, "Voices in the Wilderness: The Music of the Ephrata Cloister," which includes works by the earliest-known female composers in America. Herbert describes the project:
"In order to create modern transcriptions of the music for the recording, I visited 22 libraries, collections, and archives throughout the world to study and photograph Ephrata music manuscripts. I got to spend time in the Library of Congress, and it was there that I realized that one of the largest Ephrata documents, known as the Ephrata Codex, contains inscriptions that offer proof of authorship by three women: sisters Föben, Hanna, and Ketura.
Since this post won't publish until about 20 minutes before you can hear Herbert on NPR, I'll add a link to the recording here when it becomes available (NPR link added 7/26/2020). In the meantime, you can sample some of the music, which was recorded at Ephrata in the historic Saal (meetinghouse) last year.

This week also marks the return (finally) of Major League Baseball, although greatly curtailed due to COVID-19. Pennsylvania Trails of History shared a relevant artifact from the State Museum of Pennsylvania collection.

And here's a selection of posts from the past week - I noticed a theme of different types of work. I hope you have a chance to rest from your labors sometime in the coming week.


Post a Comment