First conceived of as an "alternative museum" and inspired by 18th-century cabinets of curiosities, the Main Street Museum's diverse range of items on display includes categories for flora, fauna, evidence of tramps, round things, tangled things, sheet music, journals, electromagnetic devices, Elvis impersonators, postcard collections, taxidermy, and biological anomalies—which counts dehydrated cats among its holdings.
The Main Street Museum is also known for adapting to new and changing technology. The museum's curators catalog their collections and conduct online activity on a Wiki-style website that is open to everyone. While it hasn't been confirmed, Main Street believes it was the first museum with a functioning blog, which launched in September 2005.
This Obscura Day, the Main Street Museum will be open all day for guests to see their newly refurbished vitrines full of taxidermy, historical artifacts, and curiosities from around the world.
Curator David Ford will join us at the Main Street Museum via a live Skype from St. Petersburg, Russia to discuss the inspiration behind the collection, post his own favorite postcard, and lift a glass in a toast to our American colleagues from a dinner-time group of Russian curators, artists, and members of the International Intelligentsia. A manifesto will be read.
Join us in the Reading Room for an evening of wine, cheese, and refreshments as well as the first Main Street Museum “Pick a Postcard, or Sheet Music” event. Guests will get to pick a postcard from the museum's expansive postcard and sheet music collection. The postcard will be scanned then and there, and published onto the Main Street Museum Tumblr page where guest comments can also be posted from the museum throughout the night.
The Main Street Museum is preparing to initiate a postcard and sheet music sorting project involving their staff and network of volunteers. With over 3800 pieces of sheet music and over 2500 postcards, these examples of living, vernacular history are able to tell us something about our past as well as ourselves. This Obscura Day, guests can aide in this exciting project and help Main Street manage and publish their collections on their website, social media and Wikipedia site—or just stop by to enjoy the reception and explore the collections!
Check out our full lineup of amazing adventures taking place all around the world on Obscura Day, our annual celebration of discovery!
Use the #obscuraday hashtag on your favorite social media platforms to show us how you're celebrating. We'll be featuring your posts on our own platforms all day, and you could even win some Atlas Obscura prizes.