Adjusting to a New Job During a Pandemic

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On February 13, 2020, I started my first day as Office Administrator of the Los Altos History Museum. When I arrived, I was greeted by Executive Director, Elisabeth Ward, who showed me to my workstation with a bounce in her step. Initially, I shared a desk with an office temp who was filling in until a permanent employee was hired….

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Struggling for rights

Confronting an Uncomfortable Legacy

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Museums, especially cultural and historic museums, are fundamentally about identity. The Los Altos History Museum gathers and presents artifacts and stories about our community in order to build an understanding of who we are and the choices we have made during our lives. Right now, museums across the country are being challenged to examine the choices they make about how…

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The Story of the Museum’s Apricot Tree

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In January, the Los Altos History Museum’s Executive Director, Dr. Elisabeth Ward, envisioned a real live apricot tree growing next to the newly installed sign in the Museum’s agricultural exhibit area. The sign tells the story of the Blenheim apricots in the nearby Los Altos Community Orchard, originally planted around 1905 by our Los Altos orchardist, J. Gilbert Smith. Fortunately…

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A Museum without Walls?

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At the foundation of every museum is a collection. Different types of museums are distinguished based on what it is they collect and preserve: art museums collect and preserve art, whereas natural history museums collect and preserve natural specimens. The Los Altos History Museum is a history museum, which means we collect things related to the history of our area….

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Foothill Intern, Karen Quero cataloguing notes for the historic photo collection

Cultivating the Next Generation of Arts & Humanities Leaders in Los Altos and Beyond 

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The Los Altos History Museum proudly welcomes back Humanities Mellon Scholars Ananya Khanna, Zahira Trejo, and Karen Quero for their spring quarter internships this week. Beginning Monday, April 13th, Ananya will continue her internship under the mentorship of Diane Holcomb, Outreach Coordinator, in marketing and public relations, and Zahira and Karen in museum collections and research with Dianne Shen, Collections Strategist. Designed by the Foothill-DeAnza Community College District, the…

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Write it Down: A Historian’s Plea During COVID-19

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We are living in an extraordinary time. This feels like an understatement, given that in the space of just a few weeks, our lives have been turned completely upside down by the coronavirus. For many of us, adjusting to the new reality of a global pandemic has been a difficult process. In times of great stress and anxiety, one therapeutic…

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