- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 13, 2015

FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) - The University of North Alabama has a 185-year story to tell, and with some help the public history department plans to tell it.

A pop-up museum dedicated to the history of UNA is part of Saturday’s homecoming activities. Pop-up museums are short-term set ups of artifacts or memorabilia.

For this one, help from the public is needed. UNA alumni and friends of the university are asked to lend yearbooks, pictures, uniforms and other artifacts for the one-day museum.

The museum is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Muscle Shoals Natural Heritage Area office, 468 N. Court St. There is no admission fee.

Carrie Barske, director of the UNA public history program, said it will be interesting to see other people’s memories of UNA.

“We are focused on people coming back and asking them to bring stuff from UNA or Florence State or whatever iteration (of the university) they went to,” she said. “We are hoping to get some yearbooks, pictures, people’s rat hats, or anything that tells the story of UNA and their experience at UNA.”

UNA traces its history to 1830 when Lagrange College opened in Colbert County. It was the first state-chartered college. The college relocated to the current Florence campus in 1854.

Memorabilia drop-off is 3-5 p.m., Friday at the Muscle Shoals Natural Heritage Area office. The public history department shares space with the heritage area.

Anything that cannot be dropped off Friday can be delivered from 9-10 a.m. Saturday at the office.

Items should be picked up from 2-3 p.m. Saturday or from 10-11 a.m. Sunday.

Once the items start rolling in, UNA public history students will create the exhibit and display tags to guide people through the museum.

“It gives our students more experience in developing exhibits and exhibit labels, and organizing an event that is beneficial for the community,” Barske said.

This is the second pop-up museum the department has staged. In May, Barske and her students set up a pop-up museum to tell the stories of the Shoals with items brought by residents. Barske said there were about 50 items in that exhibit.

“One thing we loved about the last one was we got to talk to people in the community about what the students are doing, and the projects and things they are working on,” Barske said.

Public history is a a three-year-old graduate program at UNA. Barske and fellow public history professor Matthew Barlow introduced a master’s degree program in public history in August.

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Information from: TimesDaily, https://www.timesdaily.com/


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