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Our museum has two full-time staff members the Executive Director and the Grants and Development Coordinator. We are so thankful for the work that they do to help our museum run. Today Lauren Jones is sharing a little about herself so you can get to know her more!
Meet Lauren Jones
Grants and Development Coordinator
Grants and Development Coordinator
I was born and raised in Iowa. While my family lived in a small town, my parents wanted my siblings and I to experience cities as well. Each summer we would take a road trip to a new city. To pass the time on these road trips my dad would quiz my siblings and I on mental math problems. I quickly realized that math did not come naturally to me, instead I enjoyed the museums we would visit once we reached our destination.
I have always been interested in history; when I went to college, I decided to major in Event Management because I wanted to work with people. Yet, after starting the program I was unsure if I wanted to plan events for a living. I flipped back and forth between majors my first two years at Iowa State. I finally decided I should take a class I enjoyed, so I took a class about European history. This class encouraged me to change my major to History with a minor in Event Management.
My favorite part of history is that there is always something to learn. I joined the Shelby County Historical Museum in May of 2020. Each day has taught me new things about the unique history of Shelby County and I am able to work with people everyday.
Since moving to Shelby County I have found new hobbies. If I am not at work, I am most likely walking my dog Kevin, cooking, or doing DIY projects around my house.
Stop by the museum and say hello!
Our museum has two full-time staff members the Executive Director and the Grants and Development Coordinator. We are so thankful for the work that they do to help our museum run. Today Sarah McDonald is sharing a little about herself so you can get to know her more!
Meet Sarah McDonald, our Executive Director
I joined the staff of the Shelby County Historical Museum as the Executive Director in April 2018. I have loved getting to know the community and learning about the rich history of Shelby County.
Since I was a child, I have been fascinated by learning about the daily lives of regular people. This interest led to me earn a B. A. in Anthropology from Texas Tech University with minors in History and French. I then went on to earn a Certificate in Nonprofit Management and an M.A. in History with a concentration in Museum Studies. My research interests have generally focused on New England and Great Plains Native American history and culture. I am also interested in the history and culture of the Cold War period, particularly the role of American women in the 1950s and 1960s.
I have a deep passion for curating exhibitions, and few things make me quite as excited as finding the perfect finishing detail for an exhibit. A couple of my favorite examples are object identification tags that give importation information, while blending into the background of an immersive exhibit. Keep an eye out for future Curator’s Corner blog posts where I’ll take you behind the scenes as I do what I love most!
When I am not working at the museum, you'll often find me visiting other museums and historic houses – occasionally making security guards anxious by getting up close and personal with exhibits. I love to study the construction of displays!
I also love to rock climb, bake, and spend evenings at the local bowling alley with my Ladies League team!
OUTSIDE HISTORICAL LINKS
Shelby County GenWeb Project
Harlan Newspapers Digital Archives
Past/Present of Shelby County v.1
Past/Present of Shelby County v.2
Pioneer Cemetery Association
Historic Downtown Harlan Walking Tour
The Shelby County Historical Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 1964. This four building complex is located at 1805 Morse Avenue Harlan, Iowa 51537.