Significant Operational Changes for the National Museum of Language

Letter from the President:

Dear Associates, Members, and Friends of The National Museum of Language:

The Board of Trustees is making some significant changes to our operations which will better promote our defined mission:

To promote understanding of, and appreciation for, the beauty and magic of language — in history, contemporary affairs, and the future. We seek to lead our on-line and on-site visitors to discovery of the wonder of language and languages.

 To fulfill our mission we have defined four key initiatives for the immediate and longer term future:

  1.  Expand our Exhibits, Artifact Collections and Other Programs, reaching out with fixed, ”mobile”, traveling and exchange programs, as well as other “mobile” curatorial experiments. A “Bricks and Mortar” Museum on the Move, “Bricks and Motor”;
  2.  Deploy Advanced Audio-Visual Technologies for Interactive Teaching and Exposition: on-line; on-site; and on-the-road. The “Digital Museum”;
  3.  Expand our “Museum as Forum” efforts — Speakers Series, Lectures, Collaborative and Sponsored Conferences, Workshops, Symposia, etc.;
  4.  Build upon our prior success with our Children’s Summer Language Camp.

As of early September we will be taking two steps forward on the first and third of these initiatives:

First, we will consolidate our exhibits at 7100 Baltimore Avenue into the anteroom of the office suite, moving most of the materials in the present exhibit room into temporary storage. We will refocus our on-site exhibits in this space and also retain our administrative office here for the indefinite future.

Second, we will be seeking out other venues for our exhibits — both existing and planned — at schools, libraries, community centers, and other locations where we can expect a higher level of regular visitors than we have been able to attract to our current location. Very importantly, we will need renewed and energetic contribution from our docents at these sites to make this a successful redeployment of our material assets and human resources. 

Third, we will likewise seek out other venues for our presentations and other special events, in collaboration with other language and language-culture entities around the greater DC area. 

These changes are consistent with the new strategic vision which the Board adopted this past Spring, to augment our outreach to the communities we serve, to make the Museum a more nimble and noticeable presence — on site and on-line — in the Nation’s Capital.

We ask for your continued support of our new direction. Please feel free to contact any of the Trustees if you have any questions.

The Board of Trustees

John-Joseph Smith

Chairman of the Board and President

The National Museum of Language
College Park, Maryland