Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic forced school and business closures, our “social distancing” practice has motivated people to come together or receive services in enterprising ways: from ordering groceries, taking classes, and conferencing with colleagues online, to large “face-to-face” family gatherings. Social connection technologies and web content are expanding to help us through isolation as we look forward to coming together again. The Museum is no different in that regard, and after delaying our April re-opening, we are happy to announce the launch of our new website: moabmuseum.org
Developing web content for a museum, and organizing and cross-referencing information, can be a monumental task. Our mission is to provide accuracy in storytelling in every way possible. What’s the significance of a photo if the person isn’t identified and the date it was taken is unknown? Archaeological and geological collections also come with a responsibility to properly conserve, house, and store items, all of which take expertise, time, and steady funding. Is it a rock or a dinosaur bone, who found it when, and how do we care for it? With this in mind, the Museum’s full focus is on real storytelling in a manner that gives us a deeper sense of the way things were, both in the Museum itself and online.
When you go to moabmuseum.org you’ll land at our virtual “front door” where you’ll find several paths: Storylines, People Profiles, Exhibits and Stories, and Photo Archives. Did you know that the Taylor family is one of the oldest in Moab, or that Charlie Glass was an African-American cowboy at the turn of the 20th century? A quick scan through People Profiles will reveal an ever-growing list of interesting locals past and present. As more photos are scanned and captioned, the Photo Archives section will continue to be expanded. There you can see images from early Moab and what life was like from turn of the 20th Century forward.
Storylines guides you through four sections: People, Land, Today, and Tomorrow. Learn about the first peoples of the region through the voices of three Native-Americans, then wander through the history of migration and settlement. How have today’s students envisioned Moab in their future? You can see their artistic interpretations in the Tomorrow section. You’ll also find photos and descriptions of the Museum’s fossil collection in the Land section, which kids will enjoy, and paleogeographic maps of the region 240 million years ago to the present.
Exhibits and Stories offers accounts of the Load-bearing Basket that was discovered southwest of Moab in 1990, the Old Spanish Trail, and the Women’s Literary Club. Also known as the “Busy Women’s Club” this industrious group created several important institutions that are still active today. Two universal themes can be found in the Exhibits section and include Spirit & Grit which we all need right about now, and Movement & Migration showing the progression of human presence here. Once items and documents were photographed and scanned, our Howard Balsley collection, now in the Museum, was also added to the website. A former Grand County Clerk and Auditor, Balsley was also a fastidious chronicler of Moab’s economic and civic history. These papers are a historic treasure.
Can we possibly show it all? No. Our web presence will continue to be a work-in-progress which, like our “brick and mortar” Museum, will bring more history to life. Through research, conservation, spirit, grit, and your support, our collection will continue to grow in depth and breadth, and until we can re-open our doors, we hope you will enjoy visiting the new Museum website experience and become a member.
Information on all events, activities, and exhibits are on our website moabmuseum.org and Facebook page!