When most people think of museums, they think of things like art or history - these are, after all, the most popular topics covered by most museums. But, do just a bit of digging and you'll realize that there are museums dedicated to just about everything all around the world.
There's a museum of toilets in India, a museum of sex in Amsterdam, and even a museum dedicated to broken relationships in Croatia. You don't have to travel across the world though to visit some unique museums - we have plenty in the U.S., too. Here's a short list of great American museums that you may have never heard of:
Located not far from the popular collection of Smithsonian museums, the Newseum takes visitors behind the scenes of the media process, looking at how and why news is made. From print to broadcast to digital, all forms of media are covered in innovative (and sometimes interactive) exhibits. There's a gallery of historical newspaper front pages, a civil rights exhibit, a section dedicated to Berlin and the Berlin wall, an exhibit on 9/11 news coverage, and even the chance to try your own hand at reading the news - plus much more. This place isn't just for journalists, though - anyone can enjoy it.
If science and medicine is of interest to you, consider a visit to the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia. What began as a research and educational endeavor in the 1850's has morphed over the years into a superb collection of medical oddities, models, and antique medical equipment and is now part of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. It's famous for its collection of more than 130 skulls and other anatomical specimens that have been donated to science. They even have slides of Albert Einstein's brain.
You've probably seen photos of the memorial made up of empty chairs that honors those affected by the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. But did you also know that there's a museum on the site? It's one of the most comprehensive and thoughtful memorial museums I've visited, taking visitors chronologically through the time leading up to, during, and after the attack using multimedia displays.
Have you ever been curious about what life was like for all those people who immigrated to America in the late 1800's and early 1900's? The Lower East Side Tenement Museum at 97 Orchard Street in Manhattan is a great place to go to get a glimpse. The five-story building was home to an estimated 7,000 working class immigrants, and is presented as a sort of "time capsule" to show what the living conditions would have been like. The building is also a recognized National Historic Landmark.
Do you know of any other little-known-but-great museums?
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Graduate student by day and avid traveler and blogger by night (and on weekends and during holidays), Amanda is just a small-town Ohio girl trying to balance a "normal" life with a desire to discover the world beyond her Midwest bubble. Amanda's adventurous nature and inability to say "no" have led her to some pretty amazing adventures all around the world. But she has no desire to stop exploring anytime soon. Read Amanda's blog, A Dangerous Business, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus.
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