The Artifacts of Outlander: Using Popular Culture to Promote Maryland’s Archaeological Collections

Summary

The Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory (MAC Lab) is a State-owned facility serving as the primary repository for collections excavated in Maryland. Artifacts come to the MAC Lab from every part of the state, and while the estimated 8.5 million objects in our collections are regularly used by researchers and school groups, our broken bits of "stuff" are less of a draw for the general public. This paper discusses how the MAC Lab staff turned their love of Outlander, a popular historical fiction novel and Starz television series set in 1740s Scotland, into a new traveling exhibit. In doing so, we were able to illustrate how 18th century Scotland’s material culture relates to some of colonial Maryland’s most exciting assemblages. The Artifacts of Outlander exhibit tapped into an enthusiastic fan culture and allowed the MAC Lab to successfully engage new audiences both locally and through social media.

Cite this Record

The Artifacts of Outlander: Using Popular Culture to Promote Maryland’s Archaeological Collections. Caitlin Shaffer, Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory Federal Curator. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434255)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 423