EACH DAY, PSU SENIOR JORDAN BOYD surrounds himself with everyday articles that tell a faded story of life in the mining country of southeast Kansas. Boyd was a summer intern in the new Miners Hall Museum in Franklin, Kan., and has continued working there this fall. It is a job that is helping him prepare for his future.
A native of Afton, Okla., Boyd hopes one day to be a museum curator. Although still a student, he already has considerable experience in the museum world. Prior to transferring to PSU from NEO to complete his bachelor’s degree in history, Boyd worked at the Dobson Museum in Miami, Okla.
“I have always loved history and initially I thought I wanted to be a history teacher,” Boyd said. An internship at the Dobson Museum in Miami changed his thinking.
“One of my first projects (at the Dobson Museum) was to organize negatives from the Orrick Sparlin, Travis Lee, and Bill Boyer collections in preparation for scanning them,” Boyd said. “I started scanning the negatives last June. Once I started working with this project, I realized I had a love for history and wanted to preserve our local history.”
Boyd said the approximately 43,000 negatives chronicle life in Ottawa County and include images of everything from weddings, funerals and sports to floods and tornadoes.
Boyd said his experience at the Dobson Museum has been a great asset in his work at the Miners Hall Museum, which opened in May 2012.
“There is no way I would have been able to take on this internship at Franklin and assist with their inventory, if I had not of had this last year’s worth of valuable museum experience from the Dobson Museum,” Boyd said.
Although it is brand new, the Miners Hall Museum is a very active place, Boyd said.
“We had about 700 people come through in the month of May, alone.”
The museum’s growing collection frames a central space in which exhibits, sponsored by various groups and organizations, rotate each month. For example, the first month of operation, the Rolling Nostalgia Car Club was responsible for the center display and it featured transportation. The following month, the exhibit was organized by the Pittsburg Area Young Professionals. It was based on the theme “The Way We Worked in Southeast Kansas – Retail.”
“The idea is to keep the exhibits fresh and interesting,” Boyd said.
As Boyd and others at the Miners Hall Museum plan the monthly exhibits, their eyes are on next spring when the Smithsonian traveling exhibit, “The Way We Work,” comes to the museum.
“That will be a really exciting event,” Boyd said.