My name is Alissa Whitmore, and I am pleased to join the staff here at Hometown Heritage in Perry, Iowa. This week, I wanted to introduce myself, as well as let you know about a few of the projects that I will be working on this summer.
I have lived in Perry the majority of my life, having moved to town with my family in 1989. I graduated from Perry High School in 2002, and then went to college at the University of Iowa.
I have always loved history, so I took classes in prehistory (which is just history before written records), the Greeks and Romans, and archaeology. I have been fortunate to be part of excavations right here in Iowa, as well as in Italy and the Netherlands. In graduate school, I studied at museums, archives, and archaeological sites at Pompeii and Herculaneum in Italy, as well as in Germany, Switzerland, England, and Wales in preparation for writing my dissertation on the Romans to obtain my Ph.D.
During and after grad school, I taught at the University of Iowa and Des Moines Area Community College before deciding that I wanted to pursue a career in museums. I love museums for the same reasons that you do – the atmosphere of past places, the stories that objects and photos can tell, and the desire to know who and what came before us.
I’ll be splitting my time between Hometown Heritage in Perry and the State Historical Museum in Des Moines, as well as continuing to do some local archaeology in Iowa.
In the coming weeks at Hometown Heritage, I’ll be making some changes to our exhibits, revamping our online searchable photo collection, connecting with local schools to offer educational outreach to students (Homeschool parents! Please stop by or send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org), and we can talk about what Hometown Heritage can offer your students!), and planning some great events for later this summer (including an event with an amazing Iowa author who has an upcoming book on Dallas County history!). And for those with an interest in genealogy, we have computers with access to Ancestry.com and digitized Perry newspapers dating back to 1874.
Starting in July, I’ll be here at Hometown Heritage on Wednesdays – Fridays, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, so please stop in to say hello, see some of the changes, and hear more about what Hometown Heritage and our unique collections can offer you!