Welcoming New Staff

The Illinois State Museum is thrilled to announce the addition of two new staff members: Erika Holst and Tracy Pierceall. Erika and Tracy have already begun working on the upcoming Illinois Legacy Collection Bicentennial exhibition as well as other projects. If you see them at the Museum, please say hello.

Erika Holst, Curator of Decorative Arts

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Erika Holst has previously worked at Dickson Mounds Museum and the Papers of Abraham Lincoln.  She comes to the State Museum from the Springfield Art Association, where she was in charge of the restoration, interpretation, and programming at historic Edwards Place. Erika loves historic artifacts in general, but her favorite field of inquiry is pre-Civil War Illinois history and material culture.

Tracy Pierceall, Librarian

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Before joining the Illinois State Museum staff, Tracy Pierceall worked for 16 years in the library at the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, six of those as head librarian.  In her free time, she’s an avid quilter but also tends to dabble in a number of creative endeavors.  She’s married and is a mother to two wonderful sons and one fur baby.

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Learning with Objects

Providing programs that complement and enhance classroom learning is one of the many important roles of the Museum. Last month, Dr. Michael Wiant presented a program on Native American life to more than 100 second-grade students in Chatham. The students had been studying how Native Americans survived in their environment. Dr. Wiant illustrated his presentation with animal skins, casts of tracks, artifacts, and a mastodon molar. The students sent Dr. Wiant thank you notes, which showed that in addition to enjoying the program, they were also paying close attention. We couldn’t resist sharing a few here.