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GeorgeWunderlich
10-02-2006, 09:34 AM
Having recently digested all of our recent visitor evaluations I noticed some interesting trends. In looking over our response to current visitation trends I noticed that we have never really surveyed the reenactment community to make sure that as an institution we are meeting their needs.

It seems that this might be a very good forum to ask a few important questions and start a conversation that will benefit all.


1) Do you use the Museum for research and information? If no, why not.

2) If you have used the Museum was the service rendered satisfactory? If no, why not.

3) Are there services that the Museum does not offer that you would use? Please name the service.

4) Do yo have an opinion about the Museum?

5) Have you seen advertisements for the Museum? Did they make you more aware of our presence?

Thanks for the help. I hope that the comments generated here will help us be more responsive to your needs.

George Wunderlich
Executive Director

"Doc" Nelson
10-02-2006, 10:10 AM
Having recently digested all of our recent visitor evaluations I noticed some interesting trends. In looking over our response to current visitation trends I noticed that we have never really surveyed the reenactment community to make sure that as an institution we are meeting their needs.

It seems that this might be a very good forum to ask a few important questions and start a conversation that will benefit all.


1) Do you use the Museum for research and information? If no, why not.

2) If you have used the Museum was the service rendered satisfactory? If no, why not.

3) Are there services that the Museum does not offer that you would use? Please name the service.

4) Do yo have an opinion about the Museum?

5) Have you seen advertisements for the Museum? Did they make you more aware of our presence?

Thanks for the help. I hope that the comments generated here will help us be more responsive to your needs.

George Wunderlich
Executive Director

Mr. Wunderlich,
Yes sir, I have used the Museum for some research. Unfortunately, it was only twice. I did receive very satisfactory service. However, I really wasn’t aware that we, as individuals, were permitted to do research through the Museum. As far as services that the Museum does not offer, I really don’t know of any that aren’t there already. My opinion on the Museum would be, well, I hope to come out to Maryland and “physically” tour the Museum. I have seen advertisements, but I had already been aware of Museum. Thanks for the inquiry. I am hoping to come out, after the first of the year, and visit the Museum. I have viewed your website and have really been anxious to come out. Well, sorry to bore you. Hope this helps. Again, thanks a bunch. ;)

GeorgeWunderlich
10-02-2006, 10:41 AM
You did not bore me an any way! Thank you for your willingness to reply.

The fact that you did not know about our research facilities tells me I need to do a better job in getting that word out.

When you come out, please call my office and let me know when you will be here, I would like very much to talk more about the ways in which we can work more effectively with the reenactment community.

George Wunderlich
Executive Director

"Doc" Nelson
10-02-2006, 11:56 AM
George,
I will do so, sir. I'm looking forward to meeting with you and, visiting the Museum. Again, thank you.

As always, most respectfully yours,

TimKindred
10-02-2006, 12:36 PM
You did not bore me an any way! Thank you for your willingness to reply.

The fact that you did not know about our research facilities tells me I need to do a better job in getting that word out.

When you come out, please call my office and let me know when you will be here, I would like very much to talk more about the ways in which we can work more effectively with the reenactment community.

George Wunderlich
Executive Director

Sir,

I have had the pleasure of visiting your museum on one occasion, and check in to your website on a weekly basis. I am much impressed with what you have to offer, but have been hesitant to appoach your staff regarding specific items and procedures, mainly due to past experiences at other sites.

To be candid, I am looking to reproduce several items, not for sale, but for personal use in Living History displays, and as teaching tools at schools and for other renactors, etc. Most museums have a strict policy about not allowing reproductions of their items and I've encoutered quite a bit of friction from some sources when they found out I was a "reenactor". Sort of a "Oh... one of THOSE people".

Now, certainly that wasn't the case at your museum, and I had an excellent day there, and have enjoyed your website, but I feel it necesary to bring this up as a point of reference.

I am greatful for the fact that your museum exists, and hope to be able to make much greater use of it in the future. However, living in Maine, requires much more trip planning....sigh.....

Thanks for eveything you've done down there in Frederick. It's a great museum and an excellent, if underutilized resource for all of us.

Respects,

NoahBriggs
10-02-2006, 02:44 PM
1) Do you use the Museum for research and information? If no, why not.

I have tried to ask about specific things, such as the hospital gowns, in anticipation of making a few repros for patients in hospital scenarios.

2) If you have used the Museum was the service rendered satisfactory? If no, why not.

It took a while for the staff to return the e-mail. Even then, no pictures and an e-mail which politely told me to do my own research, as the Museum had no time to spoon feed me. That's understandable for basic questions ("did they use anesthesia", for example) but I felt my question was specific enough to warrant further assistance.

3) Are there services that the Museum does not offer that you would use? Please name the service.

Discounts for recognized medical reenactor groups?

A lot of the repros you sell are good, but they often need to be upgraded before they can be used in the field. They seem pricey. $25 for a packet of Ed Archer surgical thread?

Either online or offline access to more primary sources, either in the Museum's collection or elsewhere?

4) Do you have an opinion about the Museum?

My opinion is that the Museum is good, and long time in coming. Good displays with a lot of originals. Well-researched. I'd like to see more detailed displays, such as inside a completely stocked pannier. The Museum should balance the display between the regular exhibits for tourists and technical and detailed exhibits targeted exclusively towards medical reenactors or present-day medical types whose knowledge is greater than the average tourist.

5) Have you seen advertisements for the Museum? Did they make you more aware of our presence?

I have not seen too many ads, and only a few signs. You could say I stumbled on the Museum purely by accident. I think you should shoot for the Civil War Historian, and the Civil War News. Maybe Camp Chase Gazette, if they have not plunged into financial oblivion by the time you contact them. You should also try advertising down in Virginia - the Fredericksburg/Chancellorsville/Spotsylvania/Richmond/Petersburg/City Point battlefield system, in order to draw more customers from the south and west. Mention you are on the drive for Gettysburg, and they ought to come. Mention ghosts or "orbs" and you will be swimming in tourists. Just remember to lay the tinsel in the grass out back so the "ghost hunters" have their cutsey "glowing orbs" to keep them happy when they take pictures at night.

Edited to add: My information is at least four years out of date. If you have upgraded the Museum already based on similar suggestions then please disregard my notes.

muzik212
10-19-2006, 12:32 PM
I was a "charter member" when it was founded but in truth my membership has lapsed. I am going to the museum this Sunday and plan to re-up my membership.

1) Do you use the Museum for research and information? If no, why not.

I have used the information on the website but have yet to use the facility itself. I too am interested in reproducing a few items and would love access to the museum's resources. I am a member of the MOC and have made a few trips down to study some of the pieces first hand. Are there similar regulations/ processes in place that allow up close and personal viewing of pieces?

2) If you have used the Museum was the service rendered satisfactory? If no, why not.

To date all communications I have had with the museum's staff (museum store) have been great.

3) Are there services that the Museum does not offer that you would use?

4) Do yo have an opinion about the Museum?

Wonderful collection, great info. Makes people aware there was more to army medical life then amputations.

5) Have you seen advertisements for the Museum? Did they make you more aware of our presence?

Yes I have seen them online and in print. I was already aware of the museum but they served as wonderful reminders!

Keep up the good work!
Sean Stevenson

mourningmaven
11-03-2006, 12:32 PM
Hi, George. First of all, I applaud you for keeping in touch with the reenacting community. Most museum directors would not even think of looking on the forums or to ask for feedback.

I, like some others, was not aware until recently reviewing your website, that the museum offers research services. I have since printed off the info and plan to request some help on a book project I am working on.

The medicine museum has great exhibits, a friendly staff, and a wonderful location. I have found the museum staff open to working with other organizations, (like The Society for Women and the Civil War), and after vendoring at the medicine conference in Sept. of this year, I was amazed at the amount of dedicated researchers who support the museum.

One thing I would suggest is advertising the annual conference more to reenactors, because the information offered and the networking within the conference is very valuable for anyone interested in topics related to Civil War medicine. I might also suggest sending notices to H-net.org to post about the conference, which would catch more of the academic community as well. The conference is really a hidden gem.

Hope this is helpful.
Karen Rae Mehaffey

BobWerner
11-06-2006, 08:43 AM
Hi George:

I'd like to comment on your posting via a couple different perspectives. First of all, the National Museum of Civil War Medicine offers quite a lot to the general public in helping them to better understand a much under-represented facet of the war years. It's well laid out and seems to keep growing and expanding and changing. More than that, it keeps reaching out through its many programs at sites other than just the museum. You're definitely doing a great job in that respect. Having lovely Frederick, MD, to call home also helps with all the tourist traffic that comes through.
From the research side of things, the museum is also very helpful. One aspect my wife & I very much appreciate are the workshops held at the museum. The Reenactors Workshop in January and the Interpreters Workshop in March have been very beneficial and we've always come away feeling our participation was extremely worth the while and the minimal cost. The caliber of the lecturers and presenters you are able to incorporate into those workshops is what makes the difference. In each of the past three years we've attended, I've always learned a great deal.
And from the point of view of someone who serves as a presenter on an annual basis with the museum for its weekend special events, we are always delighted by the cooperation we receive from the staff and also with the amount and quality of the advertising that brings people some long distances to see our programs and the wonderful museum displays. Having recently returned from having conducted our third program on the U.S. Sanitary Commission for the museum, I can only offer my highest compliments and best wishes for your continued success. Keep on refining and improving. Your on the right track. I'll be anxious to see where you are ten years from now.

Respectfully,

GeorgeWunderlich
11-15-2006, 07:21 AM
This all helps quite a bit.

For the record, I do want to keep touch with this community. To be honest, this is where I got my start and I have a deep love for this hobby. It is my hope that our museum can continue to serve the living history community with the same high level of service that we provide to the military and academic communities.

That said let me answer some well placed questions and concerns listed in this thread.

If you ever feel that our services are less than satisfactory, please let me know. I can only fix that which I am aware is broken. While my staff is limited and may not always be able to help, this information must be conveyed in the most clear and professional of terms. "Do it yourself" is not an acceptable answer.

We have instituted fees for some research services. This is due to increased use of our staff and the complexity of some tasks. You are always welcome to call and make an appointment to use our library. Some texts and transcripts are unique to our collection.

Our gift shop prices are high on some items. My hands are tied here. I can only sell items at a profit. As a non-profit I rely on my store to help pay the bills. If a supplier will not allow me a discount then my price will be out of line with the norm. I know this and have taken steps to fix the problem. If I am going to be more than a few percentage points higher than other retailers then I will not sell the item. This is why we no longer handle medical kits, instruments and some books. I simply can not compete since my discout is too low to allow for a profitable sale. Also, I have to stand for an audit EVERY year. If inventory sits too long or is too low in profit margine my board is very unhappy. We have to do all we can to keep the doors open and the store is a big part of that. You can buy things cheaper elsewhere, but I can only sell product in a way to keep my museum alive.

Like all museums we are strapped for cash. I run in the red every year just like the MOC and many others. We still try and do all we can to serve. Your comments and support will help us do that. If I can by of any assistance, please do not hesitate to call me at 301-695-1864. I am happy to help and address any concerns you may have.

George Wunderlich

NoahBriggs
11-15-2006, 07:43 AM
As a simple consumer I was one of the people grumbling about the prices.

Now that you have provided us with a straightforward intro to museum economics I understand it better.

I am certain we will attempt to help out the museum.

GeorgeWunderlich
11-15-2006, 10:14 AM
I can never fault anyone for not undestanding the odd ways that museums do business. This industry has very strange regulations and customs. There are there for a reason but quite frankly they tend to take the casual observer by surprise.

Thank you for your support! Thank you too for being willing to listen to our side. I hope we can be of service to you for many years to come.

George Wunderlich

cookiemom
11-15-2006, 11:02 AM
As a non-profit...

Like all museums we are strapped for cash. I run in the red every year ...

George Wunderlich
Is the museum a 501(c)(3) corporation, i.e., are donations tax-deductible?

GeorgeWunderlich
11-15-2006, 12:38 PM
We are a certifed 501 (c) (3) not for profit corportation certified by the IRS. All contributions to the museum are indeed tax deductable.

All donations are followed up by a tax letter for your file so that in the event that you are audited, you have confirmation foy our gift on our museum letterhead.

The other way to help is to become a member. In return you get a 10% discount in the store and on the medical conference and a quarterly journal that has information about the museum as well as original research on medical topics from the period. You can get information for this online or by calling my office.



I hope this helps.

George Wunderlich

celtfiddler
12-19-2006, 02:33 PM
While I haven't had the opportunity to visit the museum, I wanted to let you know that Ann Lee at the Museum Store has been fantastic to deal with. I ordered a couple of books for my husband for Christmas at kind of the last minute--Ann made sure they made it here in plenty of time.

GeorgeWunderlich
12-22-2006, 03:35 PM
Thanks for the info, I will make sure that she knows! She is a hard worker!

have a Merry Christmas.

George Wunderlich

1863doc
12-22-2006, 05:18 PM
George;

I have not had the pleasure to visit the museum other than online. I am in Texas. Is there some way for the museum to be used online for research?

I have enjoyed the museum's website.
Doug

GeorgeWunderlich
12-23-2006, 09:07 AM
I am afraid that we have not yet had the ability to digitize any of our collections. We can help you though e-mail requests directed to our director of research at info@civilwarmed.org. There is a small fee for her time but we try and keep it as reasonable as possible.

We are looking into digitizing our collections for online work but it will take some time beofre money can be raised to do this.

If you are ever up here, please drop in and we can show you our research center.


George Wunderlich

turfwriter
01-27-2007, 10:04 PM
Mr. Wunderlich,

I have just come from visiting the museum for the first time, and after spending two hours there (I wish it could have been longer!) was very impressed.

As a reenactor and SWCW member, I found it a valuable tool in my preparations for this year's Antietam reenactment. The docent was very helpful, too, when it came to questions I had about my gggrandfather's medical exam forms.

I think the website is very informative, as well, and needless to say, I will be back!

Thanks,
Laurel Scott
Union Bridge, MD

Gary
01-28-2007, 03:17 PM
1) Do you use the Museum for research and information? If no, why not.
No. Lack of time in Frederick (already visited Monocacy and wandered around that battlefield photographing the site and examining the terrain). Seeing the Museum was the final thing to do in Frederick. Second, the area of the museum's specialty is outside the scope of my research (blackpowder sharpshooter). Are there medical records there?

2) If you have used the Museum was the service rendered satisfactory? If no, why not.
N/A

3) Are there services that the Museum does not offer that you would use? Please name the service.


4) Do you have an opinion about the Museum?
Superb exhibits and certainly broadened my knowledge of Civil War medicine. Certainly better than NPS Richmond's Chimborazo with respects to Civil War medicine.

5) Have you seen advertisements for the Museum? Did they make you more aware of our presence? No. I learned of it from Arfcom and then visited the website and thought it worthwhile. Saw a few ads while in Virginia and Maryland but during that research trip, I was going to see both Monocacy Battlefield and your museum anyhow. It was a nice break from the National Archives (I'm a sinner to admit that).


Thanks for the help. I hope that the comments generated here will help us be more responsive to your needs.

George Wunderlich
Executive Director

Next time I'm in, I'd love to see your research center and yes, I always wash my hands with hot-soapy water before I touch anything (and I bring my own white cotton gloves).
BTW, I couldn't resist buying your Embalming the Dead T-shirt.