Civil War collection may leave city

    Administrators at the Civil War Museum of Philadelphia say the historic collection will have to move out of the city if the state budget doesn’t allocate any money for a new site.

    Administrators at the Civil War Museum of Philadelphia say the historic collection will have to move out of the city if the state budget doesn’t allocate any money for a new site. The museum has been homeless since last September, and it’s fighting to stay in Philadelphia at the same time the National Jewish American Museum and the American Revolution Center are coming into the neighborhood.
    Caption: Civil War Museum of Philadelphia officials prepare Old Baldy, the stuffed head of General Meade’s warhorse, for storage at an undisclosed location.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090727pccivilwar.mp3]

    Some observers and scholars say if museums start competing with each other for dwindling resources, the quality of the exhibits could deteriorate.

    Seth Bruggeman is a history professor at Temple studying museums and memorials. He says institutions can operate more efficiently if they coordinated as a group.

    Bruggeman: We want to make sure that “museum A,” which has a very small endowment, isn’t squandering resources to compete with “museum B” with a massive endowment. There are ways make to so we can tell competing stories without competing for scarce resources. Which are becoming more and more scarce in the economy.

    Bruggeman says the historic district tends to be heavy on the Revolutionary War, and would benefit from more diverse historic programming, like the Civil War Museum.

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