Remke van der Velden at the Open Air Museum

Remke-NOMRemke v.d. Velden carried out research on how memories and experiences are shared among visitors and interpreters at the Netherlands Open Air Museum, Arnhem, during the summer of 2008. The Museum uses interpreters – employees dressed in folk costume performing chores and demonstrating aspects of everyday life – to bring its collection of historical buildings ‘to life’. Remke joined the employees at various locations in the Park, participating in the chores, and joining in the conversations over coffee around the kitchen table with both visitors and staff. In addition to participant observation, Remke also investigated the use of stories, pictures, objects or interactive media devices to try to gain insight on visitors’ experiences of the museum. “Apart from my research, I also gained much better understanding of the organization behind the scenes of the museum. Though the internship lasted only five weeks, I still learned a lot. I had a truly amazing experience there, which I would recommend to anyone considering a career in the museum world. A hands-on experience will help you determine which specific aspect or department of a museum suits you best.”

(HUM Major/ SSC Minor, class of 2009. Research Master Museum Studies, Leicester University)