Jim Levulis / WAMC

If you think of museums as stuffy, static spaces trying to keep the past from slipping away, think again.

A New York museum is digitizing the post-World War I personnel records of thousands of soldiers in a storied all-black regiment lauded by the French for its wartime exploits but essentially shunned by the U.S. military.

About a quarter of the approximately 10,000 personnel cards of the Harlem Hellfighters have been scanned and downloaded to databases posted on the New York Heritage and the New York State Military Museum websites. The regiment's formal name was New York National Guard's 369th Infantry Regiment.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

A little known Holocaust museum in North Adams, Massachusetts will be able to keep its doors open for the next six months thanks to a donation.

Darrell English marvels at the artifacts hanging on the walls in the 750-foot square room he rents each month.

“An American flag around the corner here,” English said. “It’s a 48-star American flag. Nothing unusual about that. Except what’s stenciled on it. Which is a Nazi eagle.”

Local Museums Embracing Technology

Aug 15, 2013
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Despite their reputation as repositories for the past, many regional museums are embracing technology to adapt to the 21st century.

“One of the things that museums are challenged with is to assert our relevance in a modern era," said Betsy Feathers, the Research and Grants Officer at Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield.