Your browser (Internet Explorer 7 or lower) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.


Navigate / search

Collecting History

After reading “Memory and Myth at the Buffalo Bill Museum” I wanted to look at how other stories of American history are displayed. The first thing I thought of was the history of Gettysburg and the American Civil War. I did   a little web searching and found the Gettysburg Museum of History. This museum is privately owned by Erik Dorr a collector of historical artifacts. After watching this news video about the museum I found that the museum had historical artifacts from the last 200 years of American’s history. This museum’s use of collecting as a rhetorical practice is very strong, having “approx. 4000 objects on display” from all over America’s history. Even though the museum is strong in there collection I feel that the exhibition is lacking. As far as I could tell from the video it looked very cluttered and overwhelming in the actual museum. Also the (Re)Presenting, as discussed in the Buffalo Bill reading, of The Gettysburg Museum is sporadic. The people that come to The Gettysburg Museum might be expecting to learn about The Battle of Gettysburg and leave feeling distracted by all the other historical items there.


Hello my name is Benjamin Kitzmiller. I am a fourth year fine art photography student here at RIT. I am from Maryland and I enjoy camping and landscape photography. Knowing about visual communications will help me strengthen my art and interpretation of art.



This room is amazing. There is so much history at a first glance- the American flag, the framed individuals along with the physical artifacts that represent the weapons used at that time. The delicacy of the historic monuments seem to be enclosed behind fragile glass containers.


The Buffalo Bill Museum seemed to have a very clear layout to naturally tell a story as patrons walked through. You’re right in the sense that this place seems to just assault the audience with many objects and stories at once – but perhaps that allows for a more subjective experience where the visitors can create from their own biases rather than be subjected to the proprietors? Cool stuff.


I can only hope that when I eventually own my own home, I have a space like this dedicated to collecting artifacts – although mine would more likely be a library full of old and influential books. Hopefully it would be a little more organized than this particular collection, providing somewhere to wander into, lose track of time and enjoy the history that surrounds me.

Leave a comment


email (not published)