Happy New Year!

Hello everyone, Museum Diary is back again after the winter holiday break, and although we’re already in to the second week of January it’s never too late to wish you all a Happy New Year! I hope you all have a great 2013 full of health, happiness and, of course, museums ;-)

Before jumping head first in to the new year ahead I wanted to briefly reflect back on the year that was. This time last year, I was making the big resolution to find a new job here in Berlin, and I’m happy to say I succeeded! Since the end of May I have been working for the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (National Museums in Berlin) managing their social media. Highlights of my first six months include our successful participation in Ask a Curator day, and our YouTube Advent Calendar.

But that wasn’t happening in 2012 in museum terms…


At the end of May, I flew to Barcelona for the MuseumNext Conference. It was my first time ever not only to Barcelona but also to Spain, and I managed to squeeze almost a dozen museum visits in to 5 days! My favourites were the Olympic Museum, the Chocolate Museum and the Perfume Museum.

In October, another museum conference – ICOM CECA – took me too Yerevan in Armenia, also for the first time. Highlights of the trip included a private concert at the Aram Khachaturian House Museum and the breathtaking ‘Cascade‘ sculpture park, as well as a very sombre but moving visit to the Armenian Genocide Museum.

I also managed to squeeze in three trips to my beloved Edinburgh last year and of course the National Museum of Scotland, where #MuseumBaby and I tested out the Magic Carpet Minis and the museum’s new Explorer App, amongst other things. All those flights took me via Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, where I could not resist popping in to the airport’s very own museum.

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In January I attended Berlin’s winter edition of “Lange Nacht der Museen” together with my brother, who had come to visit especially for it. We ate candy floss at the Zucker Museum, visited a war time bunker at the Anti-Kriegs Museum, sipped cocktails beneath the dinosaurs at the Naturkunde Museum and found out how porcelain is made at the Königliche Porzellan Manufaktur.

Despite Berlin having well over 100 museums, in February I flew 700 miles to attend the awesome “Night of the Mummy” event at the National Museum of Scotland. It’s already in my diary again for this February, and this year the theme is Vikings! Back in Berlin, I attended a meetup of tweeting Berlin museums in early March at the Museum für Naturkunde, representing Museum140.

The end of August saw the summer of edition of Berlin’s “Lange Nacht der Museen“, which I spent mostly at the Museum Europäischer Kulturen in Dahlem – with an amazing Tarantella band and free Italian ice cream – and crafting napkin holders out of electro-junk at the Museum für Kommunikation. And in November I went on a torchlight tour of the Museum für Naturkunde here in Berlin with my friend, which had been her birthday present to me – definitely a contender for most awesome birthday present ever!

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2012 really saw me get my blogging groove on. In May I attended The Hive: European Blog Conference here in Berlin. It was the first time it took place, and I met lots of interesting people, picked up some new tips and tricks, and most of all got motivated to take Museum Diary in a new direction. Since then I’ve moved the blog from Tumblr to WordPress and given it a makeover, started a more regular posting schedule (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays plus the occasional bonus post), and introduced some new features such as Museum Craft Corner and My Museum Cafe.

In July I was invited to attend a Bloggers Meetup at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, followed by a Tweetup at the Liebieghaus Skulpturensammlung. And in September I attended another Bloggers Meetup, this time at the C/O Berlin where we got to visit the attic as a special treat!

No stranger to online distance learning courses, I signed up to the Blogging Your Way Bootcamp, run by blogger and author Holly Becker, in October. My husband was surprised and asked why I was a taking a course when I could be teaching courses myself. And to an extent he was right – I didn’t really learn anything new, and some of the material I had indeed taught in workshops I’d run in the past, but just like The Hive it brought me into contact with lots of interesting people and provided me with a motivational boost.

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2012 was a great year for Museum140. In March we celebrated our 1st birthday with a very successful Twitter chat about Museum Cafes.

In May, to celebrate International Museums Day, we organised #MuseoSpark – a Twitter chat about what inspired people about museums – together with Culture Themes. It was the first time we’d collaborated with someone on a project.

At the beginning of July, we launched our new project “Museum Souvenirs” – an online collection that anyone can contribute to, so if you are interested please get in touch!

In September we were very excited to announce our 50th Adopt-a-Museum, the project that aims to put some of the unsung heroes of the museum world in to the spotlight. Again, anyone is welcome to participate, so if you are interested please get in touch!

November saw our first ever offline venture, when we organised a MuseUp (museum tweetup) at the C/O Berlin, together with our friend Hie-suk Yang. The event was fully booked out, and we hope to organise further MuseUps in the coming year.

And in December we got well and truly in to the Christmas spirit, with our Advent Calendar and Secret Santa 2.0 back by popular demand, as well as a Christmas Bauble Contest and a Pinterest board of museum Christmas trees around the world.

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And then there was…

Other fun and interesting museum things that happened last year included making a donation to the Schweinemuseum in Stuttgart – a cuddly pig (knitted by my wonderful mum) henceforth known as the “Twitter-Pig” – and a rare visit to the cinema to see Pixar’s new movie “Brave”, which features some artefacts from the National Museum of Scotland.

In February the new digital magazine sisterMAG launched, with an article about Adopt-a-Museum, and sisterMAG issue 3 in August included an article of mine about 10 unusual museums around the world on a gorgeous five page spread! I was also featured on THEMUSEUM Blog in June, being interviewed about Adopt-a-Museum, which was pretty cool!

I marked our one year Berlin anniversary in the middle of August with my favourite museum moments from our first year, and for my birthday in September one of my best friends came over to visit from Edinburgh and I took the opportunity to do visit some museums I’d not been to before. Overall I made 100 visits last year to a total of 57 different museums.

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  1. Jenni’s Museum Awards 2012 | Museum Diary - March 3, 2013

    […] This time last year, I did an extensive review of my ‘52 Museums in 52 Weeks‘ challenge. And I held my very own ‘Museum Awards’ for 2011 by choosing my top 3 museums in each of several categories (here and here). I thought it would be fun to do the same again, though I’ve cut it back a little year to choosing just one candidate for each category – which was not easy to do, believe me! Actually, it was difficult not choosing the National Museum of Scotland for all the categories;-) I also dropped the categories “wow moments” and “personal favourites”, which I’d already covered in my post summarising my 100 museum visits of 2012, as well as the category “personal highlights” which I covered in my New Year post with a general review of the past year. […]

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