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Barksdale museum gets a big makeover

Kate Archer Kent

The Barksdale Global Power Museum is undergoing a transformation. The exhibits, some dating back to 1978, are being redone and modernized. Eventually, they’ll tell a cohesive story about the role of Barksdale Air Force Base through time and the heritage of the bomber.

This is a dream job for museum director Amy Russell. She landed on the job last June after a coveted PALACE Acquire Internship, the Air Force’s Civilian Service program. She’s now going room by room, updating the physical spaces and the exhibits themselves. Russell said the museum acquired five touch screens that will complement the exhibit themes.

“We live in a digital age. We have to be interactive. We have to be able to add these things into our museum so we can just add another element to what we’re learning," Russell said.

Russell must also streamline. With more than 4,000 artifacts in the collection, she said she doesn’t have the dollars or manpower to properly care for them all. This Air Force field museum is one of 12 nationwide. Russell said some of these artifacts may be better suited elsewhere.

“We have a lot of items. We do not have a lot of items that necessarily fit within a story line that makes sense for Barksdale," Russell said, during a tour of the museum. "They don’t make sense for us, but that doesn’t mean they don’t make sense for someone else. We’re able to send them back to the national museum, and they can redistribute them to other museums where they fit better.”

The Barksdale Global Power Museum is open during these renovations. Russell said the first renovated room will reopen next month.

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