Hamiltons First StoreFront Museum
Hamilton HIStory + HERitage is a unique exhibition and meeting space combining historical content (architectural, social and cultural) and new technology (mini-computers and flat screen monitors) to share the story of Hamilton.
Mr. Graham Crawford seen here, opened H+H in 2007 celebrating the lives of the men and women who have helped to shape the city of Hamilton but I will let him explain it.....
HIStory + HERitage
To be successful you have to have a clear sense of where you want to go.
I began with what I wanted to emulate - a successful museum. I looked at what museums have - artifacts, curators, staff, researchers, exhibition space, permanent displays, changing exhibitions, operating budgets, marketing budgets, etc. I had none of them. Nor did I have either the space or the money to establish such a place. After all, how do you insert a museum with those attributes into a space that measures 12 feet x 50 feet, albeit on three floors? And make it interesting for people? And make it affordable to establish and sustain for me? All good questions. Technology was, for me, the answer. The space features 6 flat screen monitors, a photo gallery, a growing library of books about Hamilton, and a free meeting space on the second floor for local groups.
The mission of Hamilton HIStory + HERitage is clear, simple, to-the-point, and easy to remember - all attributes of a good vision for any type of organization.
“To celebrate the lives of the men and women who have helped to shape the City of Hamilton.”
There are four key components of the mission.
1. Celebrate - it speaks to the tone, style and energy surrounding the work that H+H does.
2. Lives of men and women - it is gender balanced, not just about “old, dead, white guys”. It’s about any man or any women, or any group of men and women, no matter their social standing, education or profession.
3. Shape - it focuses on actions these people took that had an impact and that made a difference.
4. Hamilton - it focuses solely on the City of Hamilton. Ontario, Canada.
This mission has been used as the touchstone against which the work done by H+H is measured.
The final element that emerged from the mission statement was the name of the place - Hamilton HIStory + HERitage. Even the name, through the use of upper case and boldface font, communicates the focus of this storefront museum. H+H is my retirement hobby. I fund it personally. I have not requested any financial assistance from any level of government. Let’s just say it’s a personal investment from which I derive enormous pleasure. In a word, it’s fun.
Since opening over 25,000 people have visited from all over the city, the province, the country, and indeed the world.