Friday, December 6, 2013

What on Earth is a QR Code?: "Following our Path: Regis College through its Art Collection"

 by: Sarah Vedrani

Now that we’ve had our last official class, it’s time to look ahead to some of the projects that we’ll be doing in the spring; the goal is to really bring the exhibit to life through programming, lectures, and anything else we can think of. The biggest of these projects, and probably the most innovative, will be the addition of supplemental material to the exhibit. This information can be accessed through a technology known as “QR codes.” I had no idea what those were or how they worked until very recently, so here’s a brief explanation. 

QR codes look something like this:

and can be read by smartphones; you just need to download a free QR code reader app. These codes can be found in many different locations, including advertisements, food containers, and now, museums. Many museums are using this technology to create a new kind of audio tour, or as a way to link visitors to more information that couldn’t be fit into an exhibit space. QR codes can link to supplemental material, audio and sound clips, or websites.

We’ve been able to pack quite a bit of information into our exhibit, but there’s still more that we couldn’t possibly have fit in because of time and space that we’d love to have available somehow, and that’s where the QR codes come in. Some of our ideas are:

  • recordings of the school and class songs
  • sound or audio clips of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston
  • link to HI 516’s Flickr account for photos of the dig

With the addition of this technology to our exhibit, we will become a part of the campus-wide technology initiative that began in the fall of 2012; students and faculty can use their iPads to scan the codes throughout the exhibit, and their visitors can make use of their smartphones. In our technology-driven society, it makes sense for us to make use of this new and very exciting tool to help make our exhibit more engaging for visitors.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Home Stretch: "Following our Path: Regis College through its Art Collection"

By: Kerry Pintabona

We are now in the homestretch of the planning phase of our exhibit. I remember how skeptical I was in the beginning that we would be able to pull together a polished and well done exhibit. As our list of pieces is being finalized and our labels are in the final drafting process, I am excited at the work that we have done and so proud of all that has been accomplished thus far.

Now, we are mostly working towards getting the exhibit to flow the way we would like and to finalize where each piece will be located in the exhibit. This has been a tricky process. In my mind when we are thinking of where each piece will go, I think about the pieces in a line. The challenge has been to think about where the pieces will be, not in a straight line, but in context with the exhibit space. In this case, the exhibit space is in the Carney Gallery.

The wonderful and most difficult aspect of the Carney Gallery is that it is a more unconventional space. There are walls that appear shorter than others, walls that run in a diagonal, and four very large glass doors. Aspects such as these make the process of visualizing how each and every piece will work within the space and also in conjunction with other items all the more important. In the end though, the hard work at planning will pay off hopefully with a more visually dynamic and interesting exhibit.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Being Thankful: Following our Path: Regis College through its Art Collection

By: JP Harwick, Undergraduate student

 On October 2, 1873 Mother Regis Casserly arrived in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts with four other sisters. This small group of Sisters of St. Joseph dedicated themselves to founding schools and children’s centers within the Boston area. Realizing the need for quality Catholic education, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston established Regis College, taking its name from Mother Regis. The college embraced its mission to empower women through education. As such it was a women’s college until 2007 when Regis College began enrolling male students.  At the time of the opening of the college the Sisters served in roles such as president of the college, dean of students, nurse, and professors.
          St. Joseph’s Hall, which is now used as a dormitory on the third and fourth floors, used to be inhabited by approximately fifty Sisters during the 1960s and 1970s. Today, there are seven Sisters who work at Regis College and although there numbers have diminished their profound effect on the institution continues. Regis College’s mission remains unchanged: to achieve excellence with gentleness and kindness to the “dear neighbor.” As a tribute to the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Boston, the college continues to celebrate their arrival each year through Founder’s Day events to remind all of the debt owed to the Sisters through their self-sacrificing efforts for Regis College.  Over this Thanksgiving holiday, we will remember to be thankful for all that they have given us.     

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Guest Speaker Tonya Largy

Tonya Largy, Coordinator of the Wayland Archaeology Group, speaking with
Regis College Public History and Archaeology class

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The NEMA Conference: “Following our Path: Regis College through its Art Collection”

by: ​Karen Dropps and Audrey McCullough, Graduate Students

This past Wednesday, three graduate students and Dr. Kathryn Edney went to the New England Museum Association’s (NEMA) 95th annual conference in Newport, Rhode Island. The conference was attended by museum professionals, students, and those with a general interest in museums. NEMA describes the conference as follows on its website:

“NEMA's 55+ conference sessions this year are the best of the best – loaded with strategies, tips, and techniques for every type of museum and museum professional: directors/trustees, collections, administration/management, exhibitions, marketing/development, facilities, academic, and more. Plus, this year we offer a special focus on museum education with an intensive track of more than 16 sessions covering a wide variety of trends and issues.” (

​The theme of the conference was “Who Cares? Why Museums Are Needed Now More Than Ever.” That question is a valid one: why should we continue to care about museums when the internet can provide a similar learning experience? The reason is because the internet cannot provide the same experience. There is nothing like walking through the building of the museum, taking in the exhibits and experiencing the art and artifacts. Museums offer a different learning space for people outside of the classroom, which some people need to learn about certain subjects. For example, science becomes more interesting when going to the Museum of Science in Boston and exploring their interactive exhibits! Some people cannot learn in the classroom as effectively as they would in a different environment, which is what museums can offer.  In addition, museums are places where communities can be formed.

One session in particular stuck out: the keynote. This year it was given by Dr. Roger Mandle—an internationally known museum professional—who talked to us about his new definition of museums, and thinking of museums as idea instead of objects.  His presentation on knowing your audience, and understanding your community is something we hope to do with our exhibit. (

In his presentation he gave his definition of a museum:  "museums are receptors and communicators of tangible experiences of cultural and scientific ideas based on their intention to serve diverse audiences with specific interests and requirements without respect to location."

This new definition opens up many paths for museums and exhibits to follow.  Our exhibit here is communicating a shared history of Regis College.  As we work further on this exhibit we look at what history we want to tell, and who our audience is.  The main audience we hope to draw to this exhibit is already a part of the larger Regis community, but we also hope to reveal a history that anyone who attends the exhibit can feel a part of its collective whole.  We want all those who attend to become part of the Regis family by learning more about its past.

As we are in the final stages of our exhibit, we have been working on our brochure.  In that brochure we are outlining what we hope they learn.  As we as a class work together to write the labels, the brochure, and other material with an eye on a common idea, an idea that we hope will speak throughout the exhibit: the shared history and mission of Regis College and the Sisters of St. Joseph.