CRG@CGP is the course blog for the Cooperstown Graduate Program’s “Class, Race, and Gender” course. In this course, we explore how museums are (or should be) engaging the past and present of class, race, and gender dynamics in American society. We use classic fiction and non-fiction texts as entry points for these discussions.
National Endowment for the Humanities grant reviewers named the Cooperstown Graduate Program, “the premier program for the training of museum professionals in the United States.”
The Cooperstown Graduate Program in History Museum Studies (CGP) is one of the oldest academic programs in the country for the training of museum professionals. The Program, founded in 1964, by Dr. Louis C. Jones, then Director of the New York State Historical Association, addressed the need for a school to train scholar/professionals for history museums. The State University of New York at Oneonta, the degree granting institution and the New York State Historical Association, the museum laboratory, jointly sponsor the Program. CGP is located on the campus of the Historical Association.
The two-year program accepts fifteen students each year. Thirty students are in residence in Cooperstown during the academic year. CGP has more than 750 graduates working in key positions in history museums and historic houses, art museums, science, children’s, and general museums in 48 states and six foreign countries. A large number of our alumni are active in service to the profession through professional organizations and scholarly writing. In 2007 the Chairmen of the three largest museum organizations in the country, The American Association of Museums, the Association of Art Museum Directors and the American Association for State and Local History were graduates of the Cooperstown Graduate Program.
The Program has distinguished itself over the years as a leader in professional education by combining a rigorous academic background in American history, art, and material culture with practical experience within museums. This includes experience in museum exhibition, administration, curatorial practices, and education and program development.
The Cooperstown Graduate Program trains history museum professionals who are committed to public service, and who see museums as an important vehicle for public education and civic discourse. We believe that museums can help us to understand the world and ourselves. All of central New York State is our service-learning laboratory and students work with museums throughout the region. Each year students develop programs for Pathfinder Village, a residential home for people with developmental disabilities, create programs for schoolchildren and coach History Day teams. They write national register nominations and create interpretive exhibitions for regional museums and not-for-profit organizations including, Museum Village, Monroe, New York, The Seward House, Auburn, New York, The Weeksville Society, Brooklyn, New York, The Milford Historical Association, Milford, New York, and Bassett Healthcare in Cooperstown, New York.
Annual support for student scholarships comes from the Scriven Foundation, The Snow Foundation, the Louis C. Jones Fellowship Fund, the Alice Hemenway Scholarship Fund and the Mayer Fund. To take the Graduate Program to the next level of excellence we applied for and received a prestigious National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant in December 2002. We successfully exceeded the challenge in 2006. In 2008 the Cooperstown Graduate Program received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to develop a national model project to teach cultural entrepreneurship to mid-career professionals.