Aurora Regional Fire Museum
Press Notification

For release the week of September 19, 2010

For more information, contact:
. David Lewis, Curator
. Aurora Regional Fire Museum

. email:
. Phone 630-258-5878 (direct)

. Alison Goldstein,
. The Rosen Group, for Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day
. email:
. Phone 646-695-7040

Aurora Regional Fire Museum Opens New Exhibit and Offers
Free Admission on Smithsonian Magazine’s 6th Annual Museum Day

Exhibit, “Museums Un-Crated” offers an inside look at
how and why museums collect, use, and preserve things

Aurora, IL — On Saturday, September 25, 2010, the Aurora Regional Fire Museum will open their new exhibit “Museums Un-Crated” which features nineteen rare firefighting artifacts recently transferred from the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History to the collection of the Aurora Regional Fire Museum.

It’s a well-known movie ending. The legendary Ark of the Covenant has been rescued from evil, only to be boxed up in a wooden crate, stenciled with an identification number, and then seemingly lost inside a vast storage warehouse.

Although the movie’s plot is pure fiction, large museums such as the Smithsonian do have gigantic collection warehouses where objects are stored in wooden crates. The catalyst for the new exhibit at the Aurora Regional Fire Museum is the recent transfer of nineteen rare firefighting artifacts from the collections storage warehouse of the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History to the Aurora Regional Fire Museum. Why did the Smithsonian decide to offer these objects to another museum, and why did the fire museum accept them? Who decides what a museum should collect and what should be exhibited? How do museums use the things in their collections, and where do they keep the objects not on display?

In short, the Aurora Regional Fire Museum’s new exhibit opens up the mythical wooden storage crates of a museum, and gives visitors an inside look at how and why museums collect, use, and preserve things.

In addition to the new exhibit opening, the Aurora Regional Fire Museum will join participating museums and cultural institutions nationwide in opening their doors free of charge on Saturday September 25, 2010 for the Smithsonian Magazine’s sixth annual Museum Day.

In a journey to celebrate our world’s dynamic heritage and cultural life, participating Museum Day venues emulate the free admission policy of the Smithsonian Institution’s Washington, DC-based facilities. Museum Day 2010 is poised to be the largest to date, outdoing last year’s record-breaking event. Over 300,000 museum-goers and 1,300 venues in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico participated in Museum Day 2009.

Listings and links to participating museums, and a free Museum Day Ticket is available to download at Visitors who present the official pass will gain free admission for two people to participating museums and cultural venues. One ticket is permitted per email address.


About the Aurora Regional Fire Museum
The Aurora Regional Fire Museum a non-profit, tax exempt, educational institution located in Aurora's old Central Fire Station. The museum features a variety of interactive exhibits designed to educate and entertain children, families, and firefighters. Visitors can pass a leather fire bucket. Marvel at a strange looking firemen’s smoke mask. Explore the differences in fire hose nozzles. See and hear how fire engines clear the streets with sirens, horns, and devices that control traffic lights. Watch vintage firefighting films on five video touch-screens. All this, in addition to 5 pieces of fire apparatus on display in a fully restored fire station built in 1894.

For the latest hours, exhibit, and special event information, visit the website:

About Smithsonian Media
Smithsonian Media comprises Smithsonian magazine, Air & Space, goSmithsonian, Smithsonian Media Digital Network and the Smithsonian Channel. Smithsonian Media’s flagship publication, Smithsonian magazine, is one of the nation’s largest magazines with a circulation of more than 2 million and nearly 7 million readers. Smithsonian Media is a division of Smithsonian Enterprises, the revenue-generating business unit of the Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum and research complex consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park and nine research facilities. Approximately 30 million people from around the world visited the Smithsonian in 2009.