During these times of widespread closings, the Salem Museum has quickly shifted its focus from onsite events and exhibits, to serving the community online. Alex Burke, the museum’s assistant director and chief historian, has developed two engaging video series exploring Salem’s history and culture. In these videos, Burke presents little-known facts about the history of Salem’s people, places and events.
Both video series, “White Glove Wednesdays” and “Around Town” Fridays, are posted each week on the museum’s Facebook page and web site. The 2-3 minute videos are a fun way to learn more about the Salem community, especially the history behind names and places that may be familiar, but whose back story is not well known. Both series are suitable for all ages, and are perfect for students. Most episodes will have a companion activity (available on the web site) to reinforce the learning and add to the fun.
“White Glove Wednesdays” posts on Wednesdays at 3 p.m. and features objects from the Museum’s collections. Episodes already available for viewing include a welcome to the Salem Museum’s Front Desk, the story behind Dixie Flip, and the scale model of Lakeside’s fastest ever roller coaster, the Shooting Star.
“Around Town” goes outside for a look at Salem landmarks, as well as everyday locations “Around Town” that have more history than might be expected. This series got underway with a two-part look at General Andrew Lewis, videoed on location at East Hill Cemetery and the Salem Civic Center. “Around Town” is posted on Fridays at 3 p.m.
Watch new videos each week on the museum’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SalemMuseumVA/. Videos and multidisciplinary activities can also be accessed on the museum’s web site: salemmuseum.org/. On the home page, click on “enjoy visiting by video” or “History All Around Us: Video Tours.” https://salemmuseum.org/visits-by-video-history-all-around-us/
Alex Burke has worked at the Salem Museum since 2014, beginning as an intern. A Salem native, he graduated from both Glenvar High School and Roanoke College. At Roanoke, he studied history, with a major focus on the American Civil War and 18th Century America. He is the chief historian and exhibit designer for the museum, and in demand as a speaker for community groups.
Submitted by Frances Ferguson, Salem Museum Executive Director