Friday, December 10, 2010

Working for Small Museums

Heart & Soul . . .
I was lucky enough recently to sign another contract, this one with a small historical society that wants to conduct a complete inventory of their collection. The members of the society know the objects' stories, but they're not written down. They want these stories and all information associated with their collection recorded before it is lost, and so there is a sense of urgency to the project.

What I hope to be able to provide is a clear set of instructions, based on best practices, on how to physically inventory their collection. I will also create a set of collection management forms for the society that will guide in the tracking and development of the intellectual as well as the physical care of their collection. Additionally, I will set the society up with a foundation-building database that will help transfer their collection information online.

I am very excited about this project. I am aware of the trepidation that is associated with trying to figure out all the policies and procedures of collection care, and so I plan to guide the process in a way that is thorough yet intuitive. I truly believe that it is the small museums that hold the core of what museums are all about: although my heart often lies with the larger museums and the complex work they are able to do, I know my soul lives in the small, volunteer-run museums, with all the community stories that exist there.

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