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Subject: Slides of storage conditions

Slides of storage conditions

From: Ken Myers <kenmyers>
Date: Friday, December 22, 2000
We are presently conducting at our museum a Board / Staff strategic
planning process which is intended to identify the key priorities
for our future work and the development of a five year plan. Staff's
feeling is that collections care and management has suffered for
many many years in the interest of an aggressive exhibits schedule
which has routinely monopolized personnel and financial resources.

It is our hope that we will be able to convince our Board to pay
attention to the care and storage of our collection as an
institutional priority. Present storage is insufficient and
conditions are deplorable in many ways. Because none of them are
particularly knowledgeable about proper storage or collections
management, obviously Board education is our challenge.  In a series
of preliminary meetings to plan for an upcoming Board/Staff retreat
it has become clear that they do not have the background knowledge
needed to really hear what we are saying.  Our experience has been
that "pictures are worth a thousand words" and consequently have
been doing a lot of photodocumentation of existing storage both
on-site and at off-site locations to help them understand what we
are concerned about.  We are planning a slide lecture of sorts at
our upcoming january 20 retreat.

However in selecting slides thus far which to us illustrate the
absolute worst of conditions (physical damage to objects,
collections stacked on top of each other, pigeons flying in
warehouse spaces, objects in the aisles/stacked to the ceiling in
boxes crushing under their own weight, etc.) it has become clear
that what looks terrible to us, doesn't necessarily look bad to
them.  Primarily because they don't know any better.

So finally to the reason for my message: we need slide images of
"Model Storage Conditions" to use as a contrast, so they can see
what things ought to look like.  Simply describing them won't do
it--we need pictures.  Is there anybody out there with am artifact
storage area they are proud of who would be willing to send us a few
slides *before January 20th*?  Ideally, it would be one housing a
general history collection (furniture, dec arts, photos, toys,
paintings, tools, etc) more so than a natural history collection or
strictly fine arts.

Also, if anyone has advice for how to make "non-museum" Board
members (primarily investment bankers, physicians, and marketing
people) get excited about artifact storage and collections care,
please share.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:36
                Distributed: Wednesday, January 3, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-14-36-017
Received on Friday, 22 December, 2000

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