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Illumination Annual Story and Public History Project

The Springfield History Museum is actively working to address representation in our collection. Museum institutions have historically used gatekeeping and erasure in collection practices. We are working to address this harm with projects and special exhibits like ILLUMINATION, that intentionally center the stories and experiences of those who have been historically marginalized and who are currently underrepresented in our collection.

It is our intention to lead with transparency and accountability, to build relationships and trust with members of the community who have been left out of the historical narrative. Our goal is for the Springfield History Museum to offer a more inclusive representation of all the people who have both shaped and been shaped by Springfield and rural east Lane County. For these people to be empowered as stewards of their owns stories, and to entrust the Springfield History Museum with the preservation, documentation, interpretation and display of their stories through exhibits, archives and digital collections.

The land we call Springfield today is home to more than 60,000 people, all of whom have unique personal and ancestral stories that contribute to our collective history, and our rich, multicultural present.

ILLUMINATION invites us to discover more about our neighbors, our forebears, and perhaps a little more about ourselves along the way…

Marissa Robb
Natalia Caird
Portrait: Michael Kay Klindt
Portrait: Jonathan Hayes
Jasmin Savoy Brown
Portrait: Lois Reynolds
Portrait: Ronnie Vails

We use interviews, photographs and personal objects to share stories that illuminate the intersectionality of our Springfield identity. This year our talented team includes Michael Klindt, Marcus Holloway, and Irene Rasheed who are working with the community to explore the Black and African American experience in Springfield and rural east Lane County, Oregon.

The culminating works from this project will all become part of the Springfield History Museum archive, available to the public. Selected images and narratives will also become part of the permanent heritage exhibit on display at the museum.