February 17, 1827: Saturday. A pig was slaughtered – the pots in the windows were frozen – I wrote, read the daily, unraveled some yarn and took a nap, then I was told we had visitors it was gentlemen Norlander, Salén and Norberg. The latter told me that my Cousin Cavalry Captain Sven Kafle had long been ill with nerve stroke and that he is weak and confused that he did not know to name some things right but with strange and incomprehensible words – His wretched wife is so foolish that she rarely thrives at his home and also their assets are fairly scarce.
//My translation from Swedish//
One of the accounts I follow on Facebook is publishing posts from a 16th century Swedish diary. The diary was originally written by Årstafrun, or Märta Helena Reenstjärna. It tells a moving life story about a woman living on a small estate just outside Stockholm, Sweden. Her life was certainly better than the ones of most people in Stockholm at the time, she was wealthy and has a beautiful home and gardens. She had a large staff taking care of her estate.
The diary reveals both happy and sad times. Happy when enjoying the company of her and her husband’s friends, happy when making small trips having picnics. And sad, or in fact deeply tragic times, when her children, one after the other die at young age from illnesses. Her only son reaching adulthood is struggling with alcohol abuse and is constantly in trouble. Finally he drowns on the lake a cold winter night.
The diary gives a unique insight in the life of a 16th century woman. The Facebook account was launched in January 2009, not by Nordiska museet where the diary is kept, but by someone else (I still don’t know who).
Musuems all over the world keep treasures like this, content that is perfectly suitable to be mediated through Facebook or other social media channels. Still we see very little of this kind of mediation.
I think it’s essential not to just give a voice to objects but to carefully plan and mediate stories like the way an exhibition would be planned. I do believe we will see much more of this kind of mediation – and would even online and social media perhaps be the prime channel for some museums in a not so distant future?
Blog post 023/100 #Blogg100 challenge