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M u s e u m

Chronicle

Get Away for the Day.. Also in this issue: • Undocumented Alabama Cemetery Discovered • Discovering Alabama Update and Emmy Nomination • Fishes of Alabama Illustrations• Knotted Bird Gifts • Indian Summer Day Camp • AMNH Summer Programs • Mildred Westervelt Warner Transportation Museum N e w s f r o m t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f A l a b a m a Mu s e u m s • N u m b e r 3 7 • S U MMER 2 0 1 1 • Alabama Museum of Natural History • Discovering Alabama • Moundville Archaeological Park • Office of Archaeological Research • Gorgas House • UA Museum Collections • Mildred Westervelt Warner Transportation Museum


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1-4 Shark Week 1 Expedition for 6th, 7th and 8th grade students, AMNH 4, 11 Saturdays in the Park, MAP 18, 25 Saturdays in the Park, MAP 5-11 Shark Week 2 Expedition, AMNH 6-10 Indian Summer Day Camp, MAP 15-18 Discovering Alabama Ecology Teacher Workshop, AMNH 19-25 Survivor Week Expedition, AMNH

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2, 9, 16 Saturdays in the Park, MAP 23, 30 Saturdays in the Park, MAP 7 Little Cahaba Tubing, AMNH 8 Shark’s Tooth Creek Fossils, AMNH 9 Bear Creek Canoeing (Swimmers only), AMNH 12 Little Cahaba Tubing, AMNH 14 Coosa River Canoeing, AMNH 22-23 Little River Canyon Camping and Hike, AMNH 25-29 Indian Summer Day Camp, MAP 25-29 Museum Adventure Day Camp, AMNH 25 Shark’s Tooth Creek Fossils, AMNH 26 Little Cahaba Tubing, AMNH 27 Canoe Clinic, AMNH 28 Sipsey River Swamp Canoeing, AMNH 29 Coosa River Canoeing, AMNH 30 Fifth Saturday Series Finding the Cache: Geocaching for Families, AMNH

When people think of Alabama, they often think of college football

and barbecue. What many don’t realize about our state, however, is that it is among the most geologically and biologically diverse in the country. A drive from Mobile Bay to Huntsville carries one across hundreds of millions of years, geologically speaking, and through a host of habitats harboring animals found virtually no where else on earth. North to south and east to west, the landscape of Alabama changes in interesting ways that open up a variety of opportunities for both learning and playing. Alabamians can spend a morning sunning on the white-sand beach and the afternoon hiking in the foothills of the Appalachians.

A U G U S T 6 Adventure Caving, AMNH

AMNH: Alabama Museum of Natural History MAP: Moundville Archaeological Park

M u s e um

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Many Alabamians, however, rarely enjoy the state’s beauty other than through a car window because planning a camping, caving, fossilhunting or canoeing trip seems daunting. The Alabama Museum of Natural History has developed summer programs to provide the easiest, most relaxing way to actively enjoy the great Alabama outdoors without having to have specialized equipment or vast experience. We have the plan, the equipment and the experience. We even do the driving! All you have to do is show up with a lunch and clothes that can get wet and leave the rest to us.

Published periodically during the year by The University of Alabama Museums Robert Clouse, Ph. D. Executive Director The University of Alabama Museums

Board of Regents Ben Barnett, Board President Tuscaloosa, AL

Steve Johnson Tuscaloosa, AL

Tom Semmes San Antonio, TX

Larry Taylor, Board Vice President Moundville, AL

Thomas Joiner Tuscaloosa, AL

Leah Ann Sexton Tuscaloosa, AL

Prescott Atkinson, Ph. D., M. D. Birmingham, AL

Eleanor May Tuscaloosa, AL

Craig Sheldon, Ph. D. Wetumpka, AL

Catherine Sloss Crenshaw Birmingham, AL

Douglas McCraw Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Kristie Taylor Tuscaloosa, AL

Darla Graves Birmingham, AL

Tom McMillan Brewton, AL

Nick Tew, Ph. D. Tuscaloosa, AL

Tommy Hester Tuscaloosa, AL

Howell Poole Moundville, AL

Terry Waters Tuscaloosa, AL

Mike Jenkins Montgomery, AL

Beverly Phifer Tuscaloosa, AL

Tom Watson Tuscaloosa, AL

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Museum programs are designed for people of all ages and activity levels. Some participants go for the education while others just want a day away. Programs end up being something different to each person who participates. Young children will remember jumping from their canoes into cool rivers or catching their biggest frog ever, while their parents may be surprised to learn about Cahaba lilies or Mosasaurs, the marine version of Tyrannosaurus Rex that once inhabited Alabama.

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Museum Director Randy Mecredy brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to trips. Hold up a leaf or flower and Randy is likely to be able to identify it. Naturalist Todd Hester loves to be asked a question about Alabama’s beautiful waterways or marine fossils. However, both


ay for the Day with the

useum of Natural History

The UA Museums family consists of the following:

MOUNDVILLE ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARK

would say that the best teacher is the experience itself. Nothing can really take the place of people seeing, hearing, and doing for ourselves. What many people love about the Museum’s summer programs is that they are not “canned” experiences. While the staff carefully plan the details of a trip, the unexpected is often what gives flavor to the experience. Regular participant, Cynthia Almond, recalls a summer canoe outing with the Museum when she was able to test her canoe skills on a small stretch of rapids. “What I like,” she says, “is that Randy is good about teaching safety and the correct way to do things, but then he just lets you do it for yourself. I likely would not have tried it in another setting. I turned my canoe over but I learned to get back in and try again on the next stretch. It is something I will always remember.” When asked why she loves going with her children she says, “It gives them a real sense of adventure,” then corrects herself to say, “It gives us a real sense of adventure.” The adventure and sense of the unexpected is why some families will do the same trip year after year. With gas prices rising, more Alabamians are choosing to stay close to home and see their state through minivacations. The Museum’s goal for summer programs is to provide individuals and families with a reasonably-priced, safe, and fun trip within Alabama. So this summer, we invite folks to take an “Ala-cation” and get away for the day with the Museum. Field trips will include fossil-hunting, tubing, canoeing, hiking and caving during the months of July and August. Visit our website, www.amnh.ua.edu, for more information about each trip.

Searching for Cretaceous fossils in Dallas County, Alabama. M

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Discovering Alabama u p d at e

Discovering Alabama: OilSpill nominated for emmy The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has nominated the program Discovering Alabama: Oil Spill for an Emmy Award in the category Public/Current/Community Affairs Special. The Awards Ceremony will be held in Atlanta on June 18. Discovering Alabama is a production of the Alabama Museum of Natural History, the University of Alabama in cooperation with the Center for Public Television and Radio and Alabama Public Television.  

Discovering Alabama continues working with Woodland Forrest Elementary School to complete development of the Discovering Alabama Model School Program, a model curriculum program based on the natural history focus of Discovering Alabama and designed for use in schools across the state.  As part of this program, Woodland Forrest students and teachers are doing a study of the school’s primary watershed, the Hurricane Creek Watershed, and they are participating with AMNH and Discovering Alabama in producing a new Discovering Alabama documentary featuring Hurricane Creek and various related environmental issues.  Through such hands-on experiences students are learning science, history, social studies, and other subjects while “discovering” the natural diversity of their local area.  The Hurricane Creek documentary is slated for completion this summer.

Moundville INDIAN SUMMER DAY CAMP As summer quickly approaches, Moundville

Archaeological Park is pleased to once again offer Indian Summer Day Camp. The first session is slated for June 6-10, while the park hosts the second session July 25-29. Each identical session of Indian Summer Day Camp is a weeklong program offered for 9 to 13 year olds interested in Native Americans arts and lifeways. Among other things, kids focus on several different art projects including pottery, weaving and gourd craft. Activities include hiking,

L-R: Campers drill holes in wood the old fashioned way; Making string from plant fibers is one of the many ancient technologies that day campers learn; Two campers grind corn in a stone mortar.

gathering wild foods, touring an archaeological and wear old clothes. All other snacks and suplaboratory, playing Native American games, plies are provided. museum and park tours, storytelling and samThe cost for day camp is $200 per child per pling authentic Native American cuisine. week. Museum members get a $25 discount on Located at Moundville Archaeological Park, the program and there is a discount for registercampers from Tuscaloosa are picked up from ing multiple children. For more information call Smith Hall on the University of Alabama 205-371-8732 or email ccumming@ua.edu. A campus at 8:30 am and returned at 4:30 pm. registration form is also available on the MoundStudents need to bring a sack lunch each day ville website at www.moundville.ua.edu.

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Choctaw baskets from knotted bird gifts Knotted Bird Gifts, the museum store at Moundville Archaeological Park, carries a nice selection of one-of-a-kind Choctaw Baskets. The rivercane used for these beautiful baskets is hand cut, split, dyed and woven into highly collectible pieces of art. Rivercane baskets were used at ancient Moundville and Choctaw weaving techniques have been passed down for generations. One of these unique Native American made baskets would surely delight anyone with an appreciation of art and history.  

Minnie Bell, Choctaw, weaving a rivercane basket.

MILDRED WESTERVELT WARNER TRANSPORTATION MUSEUM The Queen City Pool House has long been the subject of speculation by Tuscaloosans and passer-bys. The round building nestled into the corner lot across from the Tuscaloosa Public Library on Jack Warner Parkway is a symbol of childhood summers for many Tuscaloosa natives who learned to swim at the community pool. For new generations that will inherit Tuscaloosa, the Queen City Pool House will be a vehicle for learning the history of this region, this town, and its people. The City of Tuscaloosa is pleased to usher in the Mildred Westervelt Warner Transportation Museum and has entered into partnership with the expertise of the University of Alabama’s Museums to oversee management of the community’s newest museum. UA Museums anticipates reopening the doors to this historic building late summer. UA Museums executive director, Dr. Robert Clouse admires a 1909 Maxwell antique automobile with donor Eddy Minges.

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L-R: Shaina Strom, Erin Harney, and Rebeka Ceravolo join the University of Alabama Museums

New Faces at The University of Alabama Museums Shaina E. Strom joins the University of Alabama’s Museums

as Director of the highly anticipated Mildred Westervelt Warner Transportation Museum. An Alabama native but new to Tuscaloosa, Ms. Strom graduated with a B.A. in Arts Administration from Hollins Unviersity in Roanoke, Virginia. As Director of Tuscaloosa’s newest museum, Ms. Strom believes in the preservation of art and history as a cornerstone in education and expression, and the Transportation Museum will deliver these ideals to Tuscaloosa through educational programming and by serving as a cultural hub for the community. Ms. Strom is grateful for the opportunity to acquaint herself with Tuscaloosa through the help of the region’s kind donors of historical artifacts, the supportive artist community, and the encouraging network of the University of Alabama’s faculty and staff.

outreach educational programming, exhibitions, community activities, and an increased web presence. She is grateful for the opportunity to continue working with the dedicated staff of the University of Alabama Museums, as well as continuing her involvement with the Alabama Museum Association as the District Representative.

Rebeka Ceravolo joined the University of Alabama Museums, Museum Collections Department, as a Collections Technician for Natural History Collections on March 1, 2011.  She has previously worked at the Denver Art Museum and the Toledo Museum of Art. Rebeka received her Master’s degree in Art History and Museum Studies at the University of Denver where she was twice a recipient of the Marsico grant and teaching assistantship. Rebeka earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Toledo (magna cum laude) where she was granted a Sinclair Research Erin Harney is continuing her work with the University of Scholarship.  She is looking forward to contributing her knowledge Alabama Museums in the position of Director of the Gorgas House of museum collections management to issues involving the natural Museum. Prior to joining the UA Museums, Museums Collections history collections at UA Museums.  She has already spent time Department, Ms. Harney was the Curator of Exhibitions for The assisting with the inventory of and proper storage of objects from the Danish Immigrant Museum in Elk Horn, Iowa. She holds a M.A. in Anthropology and Museum Studies from Northern Illinois University Gorgas House museum as well as continuing the effort to get the huge and a B.S. in Elementary Education from The University of Wisconsin- rock and mineral collection completely inventoried.  The UA Museums is thrilled to have her on board and her collections management Madison. As Director, Ms. Harney seeks to increase the visibility expertise is welcomed by the Museum Collections Department. and viability of the Gorgas House Museum through in-house and

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Gorgas House Exterior Restoration Completed Following interior work on

brick fence that served as the house undertaken in a barrier. Brick from the 2004-2005, the scheduled old wall was reused in recomprehensive exterior furbishment of the Marrs building envelope restoraSpring area a block to the tion of the Gorgas House northwest. was finally completed in The interior of the house February 2011. The Uniwas restored in 2004-05 versity pre-qualified conwith federal historic restotractors to only include ration funds made availwork by those with signifiable by legislation written cant historic restoration exby Senator Richard Shelby. perience and used deferred Prior to the roof replacemaintenance funds to unment, water soaked the updertake the work that took stairs ceiling which caused nearly 8 months to comportions of the plaster to plete. That work included collapse in two upstairs replacement of the mortar rooms. We were extremely (called “re-pointingâ€?) in sefortunate in that relatively lected fractured and eroded minor amount of damage mortar joints, new roofing, Restored Gorgas House east façade and new picket fence occurred to most of the rebuilding of the leaking contents of the building; and leaning chimneys, however a mid-19th censtabilization of sandstone tury French Aubusson rug sills and steps, removal of and a late-nineteenth cenlead paint on exterior surtury square grand piano faces, replacement of gutwere damaged. All of the ters and rotted wood trim, contents of the two rooms fascia and soffits. One of were moved to drier quarthe more expensive tasks ters by Collections Departwas the replacement of ment staff to allow repairs the window sashes with to be undertaken. At prescarefully replicated copies, ent, no funds are available including the use of hisfor conservation and/or toric restoration glass that restoration of the items. is made in the same manDonations to an artifact ner as the original glass. conservation fund dedicatIn many cases the original ed to repair of the objects window sashes had no Repaired ceiling in one of upstairs rooms (damaged ceiling is shown in inset) at the Gorgas House are wood remaining behind the myriad layers of paint and glazing putty and were allowing water currently being accepted. The ceiling plaster repair and painting have been completed, but restoration of some damage to the flooring has to enter the house during driving rainstorms. yet to be finished. But as with any structure that is over 180 years old, Replacement of the rotted shutters, which in themselves were already re- maintenance will be an ongoing process. Staff will remain vigilant to asplacements, has just been completed. Shutter hinges and other hardware sure we can stay on top of small problems before they become big ones. which appear to have been previously reused, and are likely original to the house, have been reused with the replacement shutters. In addition, On May 11, 2011 a new era at the Gorgas House was initiated. On that due to the deteriorating state of the brick fence/wall that surrounded date Ms. Erin Harney, an Alabama transplant with a Masters Degree the house, the fencing was also replaced with one that is very similar in Museum Studies, began her new duties as manager of the Historic to one that existed during the 19th century. This fence however is sup- Gorgas House. With restored facilities and grounds, the house will once ported with stainless steel channels and mountings that are designed to again be open regularly for visitation. Look for important changes that hold up under the stress of game day tailgating crowds. The picket fence will make the home more open and tell a broader story of this iconic allows for greater visibility of the house from the surrounding area and structure in the UA landscape. serves to make the home more inviting than the 1950s-constructed

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The paleontological collections of the Alabama Museum of Natural History have been heavily researched over the past few months. An expert on fossil crocodiles and alligators, Dr. Chris Brochu from the University of Iowa, visited in April to examine fossils from the Black Belt. These specimens will be an important part of his ongoing studies on the evolutionary history of crocodilians. In addition, the paleontology collections recently welcomed Lynn Harrell, a new PhD student in the Department of Geological Sciences of the University of Alabama. Lynn did his undergraduate research at the University of Memphis and got a Master’s degree from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. He is an expert on Mesozoic marine vertebrates and will be using the museum’s extensive collection of these fossils for his dissertation research. on Dr. Chris Brochu, an expert . ors gat alli d fossil crocodiles an

o e l a P e h t in h c Current Resear

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t the sea turtle a ld o r ea y n o rch Site. n 8 0 milli cavating a aleontological Resea ex l el rr a tion P Lynn H Harrell Sta museum’s

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JOIN THE EXPEDITION! Join the Expedition!

The Alabama Museum of Natural History offers a unique opportunity for students, families and individuals to experience hands-on research in a working field science camp. For the past 32 years, Expedition has been held in site locations throughout the state of Alabama. This year participants will be able to learn and work sideby-side with scientists in the field of paleontology and ecology in the naturally-diverse and fossil-rich lands of Greene County. There is truly no other camp quite like it in Alabama! For more information, contact us at museum.programs@ua.edu or call us at (205) 348-7550. Details of each Expedition session can be found at www.amnh.ua.edu.

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Undocumented Alabama Cemetery Discovered

Many of Alabama’s early cemeteries were never officially recorded

Although the wood from coffins was largely decomposed, the wood stains left in the soil indicate that they were locally made rather than purchased as manufactured coffins. The types of nails used in making the coffins and other decorative embellishments that were added, such as handles and decorative thumbscrews were likely purchased at a local hardware store. This practice also suggest a late 19th to early 20th century use of the cemetery. Some of the handles used as coffin handles appear to have been furniture drawer pulls rather than ones made specifically for coffin use. Only a few of the coffins contained glass viewing plates and no coffin lid hinges were recovered. This suggests that all coffin lids were probably closed at the time of any funeral services. Other objects, such as bottles, clothing buttons, a ceramic plate Two types of coffin handles recovered from undocumented cemetery and a few coins also indicate a post-Civil War date of the cemetery’s use.

as resting places for the deceased. As modern development projects move forward, previously undocumented cemeteries are discovered almost monthly. Often these discoveries are made too late in the planning or construction process to be able to preserve the cemeteries in place. In these situations, under Alabama’s laws and regulations, the landowner or developer must follow prescribed procedures that include legal notification and an approved removal plan before a cemetery can be removed from its original area and relocated to another setting. Late last year, the Office of Archaeological Research was requested to undertake the excavation, recovery and re-interment of a previously unrecorded cemetery near Montgomery, Alabama. The complex task of locating unmarked graves, removing the remains of the deceased and their belongings, and identifying those remains while providing the sensitivity, respect and dignity essential to such work is a very time-consuming process.

The life of a tenant farm family was hard with limited access to health care. Illness and disease were often treated with patent medicines or with folk remedies and life was often relatively short by today’s standards. Of the 76 graves, skeletal evidence showed that From years of neglect, the only surface 39 were infants or children attesting to the indication of the cemetery was the presence high incidence of infant and child mortality of two markers—a headstone and grave in rural areas of the state during the late 19th curbing—overgrown by trees and privet in and early 20th centuries. Of the remainder, the woods in a cattle pasture. Those two where skeletal preservation was sufficient cemetery markers were only the tip of the for a determination, 12 male and 11 female iceberg. Searching below the surface in adults were verified. The remainder of the the area around the two visible indicators, 8 adults were not preserved well enough to the archaeological crew discovered the determine sex, and 6 adolescent skeletons graves of another seventy-four individuals, were too young to exhibit sexual assignable apparently buried late in the 19th and characteristics. Professional dental care was early 20th century. The total of 76 graves also apparently lacking with a number of with only two permanent surface markers adult teeth showing evidence of caries. Nearly is a common occurrence in many rural all of the adults represented in this cemetery areas. Although less frequent today, many population died before they were 35 and Plan of previously undocumented cemetery in families were unable to afford the cost many died in their early twenties. Only one of southern Montgomery County. of a stone marker—using wooden ones the adult skeletons indicated an age beyond instead. And the climatic conditions of the 50 years. But despite the lack of permanent Deep South do not preserve wood for very long, often leaving no surface grave markers and expensive manufactured coffins, regardless of age, indications of burials within a relatively short period of time. even those that died at birth, each individual was provided a formal coffin burial. Based on extensive research into land ownership records, the cemetery appears most likely the result of burials by tenant farm families that The map created by the archaeological crew shows a typical Christian worked the land in that immediate vicinity. Late 19th century plat maps tradition pattern with the coffins aligned east-to-west and the graves show tenant farm housing adjacent to the location of the cemetery’s aligned in four north-to- south irregular rows. The re-interment process discovery. The single recovered grave stone that was marked with dates included the replacement of coffins in the same order and alignment of birth of 1866 and death in 1908 gave some information about the as their original placement. As required by the Alabama Historical possible range the cemetery was in use. To further bracket the time Commission, a granite marker was placed at the new site to indicate frame of cemetery use, land records over the last 80 years show the the original location of the cemetery and the date of its removal and property having been used for cattle pasture, and records from recent reinterment. land transfers and land use do not indicate any resident population on the property nor any cemetery use during that period.

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A selection of fish species found in North River from Joseph Tomelleri’s Alabama Fishes illustrations will be on display from June until December on the mezzanine of the Museum’s Grand Gallery.

university of alabama museums membership

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giving levels & benefits uch of the natural beauty of Alabama is found among its many rivers. To recognize the vital role these rivers play in making our state unique, the University of Alabama Museums has designated gift membership levels with the names of some of Alabama’s best-known and beloved rivers.

All membership levels are important to the Museum. We hope you will be as generous as your circumstances allow. third Level

First Level

Alabama River $40 • Unlimited admission (except for special events) to: Moundville Archaeological Park Alabama Museum of Natural History Gorgas House Paul W. Bryant Museum • Membership newsletter • Discounts on Museum programs and Summer Expedition • Membership card and decal • Recognition in newsletter • Invitations to special member events

second Level

B l a c k warr i o r R i v e r $100 • Receive Discovering Alabama DVDs • 10% discount at University of Alabama Museum Shops • Other benefits as listed in previous level

cahaba River $250 • Free admission to Moundville Native American Festival • Unlimited admission to Museums for member and 5 guests • Gift membership for one year at Alabama level • 20% discount at University of Alabama Museum Shops • Other benefits as listed in previous level

fourth Level

coosa River $500 • Unlimited admission to Museums for member and 7 guests • Book on natural history from The University of Alabama Press • Reduced rental rates for Museum facilities • Other benefits as listed in previous level

fifth Level

Sipsey River $1000 • Unlimited admission to Museums for member and 10 guests • Three gift memberships for one year at Black Warrior level • Other benefits as listed in previous level

sixth Level

eugene allen smith society $5000 • Special recognition in Smith Hall foyer • Special Museum excursion lead by Executive Director of The University of Alabama Museums • Unlimited admission to Museums for member and 15 guests • Other benefits as listed in previous level

Yes, I/we want to support The University of Alabama Museums Alabama River $40 B l a c k W arr i o r R i v e r $ 1 0 0 Ca h a b a R i v e r $ 2 5 0 Coosa River $500 Sipsey River $1000 Eugene Allen Smith Society $5000

Charge to: MasterCard Visa Account Number_______________________________________________ Expiration Date________________________________________________ My Signature__________________________________________________ Name(s)______________________________________________________ Address______________________________________________________

My/our membership is enclosed

Phone_______________________________________________________

My employer will match this gift

E-mail_______________________________________________________

Please make checks payable to the University of Alabama Museums and mail to: Box 870340 • Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0340 Your annual gift is tax deductible to the extent provided by law. Thank you for your support.

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Box 870340 Tuscaloosa, AL 35487–0340 (205) 348-7550 museums.ua.edu museum.programs@ua.edu

Connect with UA Museums on Facebook Your visit to Moundville Archaeological Park or the Alabama Museum of Natural History doesn’t have to end at the front door lobby. Stay connected with UA Museums online, wherever in the world you may be! Become a fan on Facebook. This is the place to connect with the museums and lovers of natural and American history from around the world. Connect with Moundville Archaeological Park and the Alabama Museum of Natural History on Facebook by visiting our pages and clicking on the “Like” button.

UA museums sustained no damage from tornado As some of you are aware, the recent tornado devastation that occurred to Tuscaloosa and throughout Alabama miraculously did no damage to any University of Alabama Museums’ properties or collections. Our hearts and prayers go out to those affected by the catastrophe including a number of UA Museums staff who lost nearly everything—their home, personal possessions and automobiles. Fortunately no one on our staff was injured. Many UA Museums staff have been working tirelessly to help those in need through physically demanding work, financial assistance and moral support.

Because we have been so fortunate and because we need to be a part of helping the community to heal, we will be offering free admission to all the UA Museums over the recovery period for those affected by the terrible events of April 27, 2011. We are currently working with city and county officials to provide outreach and special programming opportunities to those who so desperately need a respite from life in temporary shelters or from the tedium of perpetual cleanup and rebuilding. We will be working to provide free transportation and programs to those hardest hit and most in need.


Museum Chronicle 37 Spring 2011