In 1914 Harlan Smith published an article about how best to incorporate sound into museum exhibitions to supplement the visual experiences of museum goers. According to Craig Eley, Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Institute for Arts and Humanities at Penn State, it took two decades for this idea to take hold when, in 1936, the Cornell University Museum integrated synchronized sound recordings into traditional taxidermic exhibitions.
Eley, who graduated with a PhD in American Studies from the University of Iowa, joins me on the Digital Dialogue to talk about his article entitled: “Making them talk: Animals, Music and Museums.” The essay has been accepted for publication in Antennae: The Journal of Nature and Visual Culture, which is publishing it as part of a special issue on “the acoustic animal.” . Eley’s research interests include the History of Recorded Sound, American environmental history, the history of science and technologies, and theories of sound, listening, and the voice.
One of the sounds we discuss in the podcast is the sound of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, recorded April 9, 1935, which you can listen here via the Macaulay Library at Cornell.