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Four new exhibits, on display at the Edmond History Museum this spring, are the result of a partnership with college students from the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO). The exhibits range in topics, including teapots, musical devices, high fashion and the Civil War.
“The museum often works with interns at UCO. Not only do the students learn new skills from professionals in the museum field, we benefits from their fresh ideas and work ability,” said Derek Lee, Curator of Collections. “This year, an influx of special opportunities and exhibit timing allowed for more student involvement.”
Exhibit Explore Tea History and Music Devices
Interns selected from the Museum Studies Program complete 160 hours at the museum, learning about artifact care, exhibits or educational programming. The students who work with the museum’s historical collections can select to either create an exhibit or focus on the preservation of a set of artifacts.
Intern Emmy Boyd chose to create an exhibit, which included the process of research, artifact selection, writing text panels, and properly displaying the objects. Emmy has a fascination with tea, and she was inspired by some of the teapots in the museum’s collection. She created the exhibit Tea-ducation, which has two cases of teapots and explores the history of tea, dating back to the Han Dynasty in China.
“I was able to learn a lot through hand-on experience with artifacts and labels,” said Emmy. “Unlike other experiences I’ve had, I was able to work with a bigger variety of items, handle the artifacts, and use their Museum Software as well.”
Intern, Samantha Barnes, also decided to design an exhibit. While looking through the collection, she was drawn to the old phonographs. Her exhibit, Evolution of Music Devices, explores the devices people have used to listen to music, from the early music box to modern electronics.
“I enjoy getting to installing and de-installing exhibits and experiencing behind-the-scenes museum work,” said Samantha. “I also enjoyed getting to explore Edmond history.”
According the Heidi Vaugh, Director of the UCO Laboratory of History Museum, “The opportunities the museum has provided for UCO student training and partnerships on exhibits and programs have been invaluable to the success of our students and our program. We are so extremely grateful for the talented, knowledgeable, and professional staff at Edmond History Museum.”
Exhibit Highlights Edmond Men from the Civil War
Braden Melton approached the museum about doing his master-level history project about Edmond leaders who fought in the Civil War before settling in Edmond.
 The men whom Braden researched may sound familiar, as their names are now on parks, streets and buildings in Edmond, such as John L. Mitch, Eddy Townsend, Aaron Fretz, and Richard Thatcher. Braden created informational panels with photographs, telling about each man’s role in the war and, later, his role in Edmond. Civil War-related artifacts, mostly on loan from UCO, add atmosphere to Braden’s exhibit, called Serving a Nation, Building a Community.
“I feel that it is important to tell their stories to show that Edmond has its own unique history, and therefore, the people of Edmond can be proud that great men with great stories helped build this great city,” said Braden.
Fashion Marketing Students Display Elegant Dresses
In 2023, the museum displayed wedding dresses worn by Edmond women. Joann Wong, Ph.D., Program Coordinator of Central’s Fashion Marketing Program, spoke at the museum about the history of wedding fashion. An idea was born for her spring semester students in the Fashion Marketing class, to exhibit dresses from the UCO Fashion Museum Collection.
The class, made up of ten students, worked together to select nine garments and various accessories to display. They developed a theme exploring patterns used on fabric: plaid, florals, polka-dots and geometric shapes. After working with the museum staff, the students met at the museum to install The Art of Repeat: Exploring Patterns in Historic Dress. According to the students, they enjoyed learning about museum display aspects including lighting, mannequin placement, signage and historical details.
 “Students greatly benefited as they worked through the process of installing a professional exhibit,” said Dr. Wong. “For example, the students planned space proportions in relation to the garments and the area of the exhibit, while utilizing creative problem-solving skills to unit the different garments together to create a cohesive flow.”
 The participants were: Blair Brawley, Kenzi Cobb, Erin Kelley, Mook Khunarak, Alexxa Lewis, Dahsauni Lyday, Sydney Naish, Sydney Snyder, Kaylea Taylor, and Daylee Vail.
“We are delighted to share this historic collection with the community,” said Dr. Wong. “It was an honor to collaborate with the Edmond History Museum and showcase the Oklahoma Fashion Museum Collection.”
 The students’ exhibit on tea, music and the Civil War can be viewed until June 22nd, and the fashion exhibit will remain up until July 27th.
 “It was fun for the staff to help the students delve into topics that interested them,” said Michael Cavazos, Museum Exhibits Coordinator. “Our guests are benefiting from the variety of exhibits created by UCO students this spring.”
  Museum Information: The mission of Edmond History Museum is to celebrate Edmond history through preservation and education. Museum hours are 10:00-5:00 Monday – Friday, and 1:00-4:00 Saturday. Please visit the museum website at www.edmondhistory.orgor by calling the museum at 405-340-0078. Museum admission is free.