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Department of State

New Jersey State Museum

The Hon. Tahesha Way, Secretary of State

New Jersey State Museum Update

The Museum is closed to the public until further notice.

Museum

About The Museum

Mission

As a center of cultural, educational, and scientific engagement, the New Jersey State Museum inspires innovation and lifelong learning through collections, research, exhibitions and programs in science, history and art. NJSM engages visitors of all ages and diverse backgrounds in an exploration of New Jersey’s cultural and natural history presented within a global context, fosters state pride, and serves as a cultivator of tomorrow’s leaders.

History

Early Museum Exhibitions

In 1895, the New Jersey State Legislature formally established the New Jersey State Museum in the capital city of Trenton with a mission to collect and exhibit specimens in natural history, archaeology, and industrial history. Original collections included natural history specimens amassed in the 19th century. Between 1900 and 1912, the State Museum strengthened its archaeology focus by initiating a field research program.

 

Early Museum Exhibitions

It adopted a statewide Education Extension Service in 1914 that lent models, lantern slides, and specimens to schools throughout the state. In 1929 expanded space in the newly-constructed State House Annex permitted extensive exhibitions of the natural history and New Jersey prehistory collections. Decorative arts became a third collection field at this time when the State Museum expanded its focus beyond industrial history to include the manufacture of ceramics.

 

New Museum Exhibitions

The ethnographic collection was initiated in 1932 when the State Museum purchased part of an exhibition of North American Indian art. The collection was strengthened in the 1940s when noted anthropologist Frank Speck made field collections for the State Museum among the Delaware Indians of Oklahoma and Canada.

 

Early Museum Exhibitions

Exhibitions of these artifacts attracted the interest of New Jersey residents whose donations from private collections built the collection in the ensuing years.Growing interest in education and culture in the late 1950s resulted in the construction of a modern cultural complex near the State House that opened in 1965 and included a four-level Museum building, an adjoining planetarium, and an adjacent auditorium. At that time, fine art became the Museum's fourth collection area.

 

The State Museum was initially accredited by the American Alliance of Museums in 1974. Since 1983 it has been a division of the New Jersey Department of State.

 

Timeline

1895 Museum is founded with Natural History specimens collected since the early 1800s.
1912 Archaeology is added as second collection area.
1922 Ethnography becomes a partner with Archaeology when Museum purchases North American Indian art.
1929 Decorative Arts is added as third collection area.
1964 Fine Art becomes fourth area of collecting, and Decorative Arts becomes Cultural History to better reflect collection.
1965 Museum moves to new Cultural Complex.
1968 Friends of the New Jersey State Museum (501)(c)(3) support group established.
1974 Museum is initially accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.
1983 Museum becomes a Division of the NJ Department of State.

Newsroom

Internships at the New Jersey State Museum

Further your education, career, and interests by interning at the New Jersey State Museum!

The State Museum has numerous opportunities for students who want to learn more about their fields of study, gain valuable experience, or to broaden their interests.

Multiple intern opportunities exist throughout the Museum (Archaeology/Ethnography, Cultural History, Education/Planetarium, Fine Art, Natural History, Marketing and Public Relations, and Rentals).

Duties may include working in a bureau’s office, laboratory, collections management, library, or helping with research, exhibitions, education and field work, developing social media.

Recent interns have aided in the cataloging of fossil specimens, served as docents in the Museum’s exhibitions, aided in the preparations for a major exhibition, and helped to develop educational programs, services and curricula. Interns have also worked on projects that were published in scientific journals. Project ideas initiated by the interns will be considered.

Interns work under the supervision of the professional staff. Contact between the student, the academic advisor, and the Museum staff is encouraged.

An interview with the appropriate staff member and approval by the Bureau’s Curator is required.

Interns should be able to work with a high degree of independence, self-motivation, and accuracy. Please note: the NJSM cannot offer paid internships at this time, however, we will work with your educational institution to assist you in gaining credit (where possible) for the internship.

If you are interested in interning at the New Jersey State Museum, or if you would like more information, please contact one of the curators below:

Archaeology and Ethnography
Gregory Lattanzi, Curator
609-984-9327
Gregory.lattanzi@sos.nj.gov
Archaeology & Ethnography Internship Application
Fine Art
Jenny Martin-Wicoff, Registrar
609-292-1886
jenny.martin@sos.nj.gov
Cultural History
Nicholas Ciotola, Curator
609-826-3935
Nicholas.Ciotola@sos.nj.gov
Education/Planetarium
Beth Cooper, Curator
609-984-2586
Beth.Cooper@sos.nj.gov
Natural History
David Parris, Curator
609-984-3846
David.Parris@sos.nj.gov
 

 

 

 


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