This investigative project focuses on the Song Wong Bourbeau Collection—a gift to the Sonoma County Museum (SCM) from a prominent Chinese American family with roots back to Santa Rosa’s Chinatown, ca. 1877.
The Sonoma County Museum [SCM] received a federal grant in October of 2003 from the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences [IMLS] to develop a plan to highlight part of its collection through exhibition, curriculum development, community outreach, and text based information. Implementation of the plan proceeded under the moniker “Sonoma Stories” and is first and foremost an education program.
The assemblage catalogued in 1995 consists of 238 objects related to a family household, a restaurant (in business for over a century), and a Chinese temple. This large collection includes, among other items:photographs, documents, textiles, furnishings, ceramics, dolls, devotional artifacts, and 14 carved ivory artworks.
Museum collections demand the most thorough of investigative strategies, as they are often void of information regarding the specific location of their finding or the specific date(s) at which they were made and/or used. To articulate such an assemblage with historical documentation affords researchers the possibility of making better inferences and reconstructing broader patterns of cultural activity. Historical data from maps, census reports, property deeds, newspapers, and other written records, as well as ethnographies and oral histories, help to connect the artifacts to the people who made use of them and the ideas that gave those lives meaning.
SONOMA STORIES AND THE SONG WONG BOURBEAU COLLECTION:
A MODEL FOR AN EXHIBITION AND A PUBLIC OUTREACH PROGRAM—
AN INNOVATIVE APPROACH TO CRM
Section I. Introduction sonoma-stories-song-wong-collection-intro
Section II. Social and Historical Contexts for Chinese American Heritage sonoma-stories-historical-context-chinese-american-section-i
Section III. Comparative Archaeology of Chinatowns and Overseas Chinese Sites in the West song-wong-collection-archeology-chinatowns-section-iii
Section IV. Objects for Exhibit, Interpretive Context, and Suggested Text song-wong-bourdeau-collection-section-iv
Section V. Synthesis of Project Data Presented as Narratives project-data-narrative-form-findings-conclusions-sections-v-vi
Section VI. Curriculum Guides and Educational Materials for Interactive Computer Stations
Appendixes, Oral Histories, and References appendixes-oral-histories