Every two years or so I do an audit on my big Connecticut Museums list – known as “The List.” And during every other one of those biannual audits, I really go through and do a thorough edit. I’ve just completed a very thorough audit of The List. I must have fixed 200 broken links, removed some deadwood, added maybe a dozen and generally cleaned up the place.
The List is the core of CTMQ. It is what started this whole thing. The List is the one page on CTMQ that I have spent days’ worth of time researching and compiling. It is, in a sort of sad way, my pride and joy. It is the ultimate list on a website full of lists.
Hence: The List.
It has also been the source of many hours of arguing with myself. “What is a museum? Should I include that? How should I list/count the museums that are groups of museums? What to do with art galleries? Zoos and aquariums? Observatories? One room schoolhouses? Important greenhouses?”
On and on. My answer to most of those questions is, “Yes, include it.” The one question that melts my brain to this day is what to do with the “groups of museums.” And honestly, I don’t have a default formula for that. And this affects a lot of what you’ll see on The List.
Simsbury’s Historical Society has 11 separate and distinct buildings, each with their own histories and interpretive signage. Is that 11 museums or one?
How about Stratford’s Boothe Memorial Park & Museum? They clearly identify several buildings as separate museums, but… who knows?
Or, did you know that Bristol’s Carousel Museum contains two other very distinct and wholly unrelated (Fire History and Greek Culture) museums? Cheshire’s Barker Comics Museum contains three museums (all related to the main museum though) inside the museum.
This issue pops up many, many times on The List. It sort of plagues me.
The other stuff doesn’t. I know that there aren’t 800+ museums in Connecticut by anyone’s definition. I know that number is absurd. (It also includes defunct and future museums as well). But it’s my The List and it’s what I’m trying to complete.
I’ve been to 332 CT museums, as of August 11, 2016. Damian has been to 172, which is mind-boggling to me.
The List contains 852 museums (Or, more accurately, “museum-like things”). If we remove, say, 15 that won’t ever exist, and think about how many of those are really just one “museum complex,” the real number probably drops down to 750 or so. If we remove all the not-really-museum museums, let’s say that puts us at 666.
No, not because I’m Satanic, but because then I can say that I’m halfway through The List.
Except I’m really not, because clearly The List contains 852 listings. As the numbers stand now, I’m at about 39% complete. Perhaps someday I’ll go through The List again and pull out the “real” museums. Also, I’d be curious to know just how many Historic House Museums we have.
We have a lot.
Anyway, while it sure looks like I still have a monumental effort ahead of me (and I do), it’s really not as bad as it looks. For example, I could make the 12 minute drive to the Simsbury complex on tomorrow and knock out 11 museums in an hour or so.
Although, on The List, I have them listed as seven museums because I grouped some, and… okay, I’ll shut up now and let you enjoy Radiohead’s excellent new song, “The Numbers.”