Bucks County Historical Society (BCHS) will enhance visitors’ experiences through a reinterpretation of the Mercer Museum’s collection of pre-industrial American material culture and the redesign of two currently unused rooms. Working with a team of external advisors with expertise in community engagement and interpretive practices, BCHS will prototype new exhibition designs in two of twelve empty rooms located in this National Historic Landmark. The project marks a new curatorial and programmatic approach for the Mercer, as the museum’s presentation of its core collection of over 50,000 objects—including eighteenth- and nineteenth-century tools and artifacts that represent 60 different crafts and trades—has remained virtually unchanged for more than a century. This effort will create new opportunities for the public to encounter the collection in more intimate spaces where people can gather to explore objects and engage in learning and conversation.
Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.