Faculty Sponsor

Kate Miller




In rural Polk county the Heritage Museum of Independence preserves and displays over 175 years of history and maintains a connection to the local community through exhibiting surrounding community history to the broad public. Drawing upon participant observation and oral interviews I investigate how museums as institutions are influenced by the surrounding population and how the institution serves community needs through civic support and respect. As an entity funded by the city of Independence and supported by the Heritage Museum Society, this paper explores the Heritage Museum's mission and development of new ways in preserving the historical and cultural collections of oral history, art, and artifacts, which may not always fit appropriately with the museum's overall mission statement, donated by citizens of the mid-Willamette Valley. Interning for the Heritage Museum enhanced my appreciation for historical preservation. Collaborating with museum staff and society members, local support is rebuilt through special events such as the first annual birthday celebration, curation of a Native American exhibit, and a reestablished oral history project.

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Text; Image; StillImage








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