We’re all curious about what goes on behind closed doors, and that’s true for museums and galleries and historical societies, as well as private residences.

Spencer Baird

My favorite closed doors are at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Also the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum.

I pause and stare at those giant wooden doors in wonder, hoping for a glimpse of the lucky staff members who pass through.

If I only lived in D.C., I could work at the Smithsonian and turn those elegant brass knobs and enter the realm of the curator.

According to the Guardian news site, “This global Twitter-based event connects experts in venues large and small directly to gallery and museum fans across the world, inviting both parties to take to their handles and ask each other anything they want.


Have you ever wondered what a curator does? Have a question about an exhibit or a collection? Not necessarily a curator at a huge, national museum, but maybe at your local historical society museum?

Well, here’s your chance. On Sept. 16, 2015, at last count, 915 museums in 47 countries will participate in #AskACurator Day on Twitter.

Now if we could only figure out Time Travel, I could ask a question of the first curator of the Smithsonian National Museum, Spencer F. Baird.

The Smithsonian website says this about Baird:

During his thirty-seven years at the Institution, (Baird) had transformed the US National Museum into the premier museum in the United States, and he trained a cadre of young naturalists who continued his research and collecting. Baird was an exuberant enthusiast who wanted the Institution to play an important role in the lives of all US citizens, especially through the US National Museum. His passion for collections and public education altered the previous path of the Institution and brought new meaning to its motto of “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.”

Curators from 3 historic sites along the PA Trails of History will answer questions via #AskACurator .