Online Museum Classes
Cobwebs in the gallery, dust on the dinosaur skeleton, mice in storage - a dirty museum results in poor visitor experience and poor collections preservation. In a museum, cleanliness really is next to godliness. Museum Cleaning Basics explores everything you need to know about cleaning your collections. Participants learn when to clean - and when not to clean. They also learn how to make those decisions. Topics range from basic housekeeping to specific techniques for specific objects. You will learn why cleaning is important and how to prevent damage when cleaning. We will look at specific techniques that minimize damage while getting the work done. And we will discuss when to call in a specialist, such as a conservator. Students will create a housekeeping manual for their institution.
2) Agents of Deterioration
3) Health and safety for the object and for you
4) Equipment and supplies
5) Cleaning techniques
7) Spring Cleaning: Housekeeping Manual
Participants in Museum Cleaning Basics work through sections at their own pace. Instructor Gretchen Anderson is available for scheduled email support. Materials and resources include online literature, slide lectures and dialog between students and online chats led by the instructor. The course is limited to 20 participants.
Museum Cleaning Basics runs six weeks. To reserve a spot in the course, please pay at http://www.collectioncare.org/tas/tas.html If you have trouble please contact Helen Alten at firstname.lastname@example.org
Student Comments for MS217: Museum Cleaning Basics:
The course content and lectures were very informative, the instructors were very helpful and pleasant, and the assignments, particularly the hands-on tests and cleaning, brought the lectures to life, as we practiced what we had learned.
I liked the examples that followed the explanations. This helped to visually show what had been discussed.
A very informative course…instructors were very knowledgeable and made the Powerpoint lectures fun. I give you an "A"!
I liked the fact that the class was extremely well organized. We did not waste time while the instructor figured out what to do next.
I liked that high museum standards were pushed for cleaning (this is very important), but that the instructor (Gretchen Anderson) did not condemn those who could not implement every single facet. I know we can implement most, but not every single thing at my institution. This is certainly the case at museums smaller than my institution. I believe every museum employee wants the very best for the museum artifacts, but sometimes institutional funds prevent full implementation. Nevertheless, people should know best museum practices and strive to meet them as much as possible.
Objects conservator Gretchen Anderson learned her craft at the American Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian's Conservation Analytical Lab, the Canadian Conservation Institute, Getty Conservation Lab, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Minnesota Historical Society. She established the conservation department at the Science Museum of Minnesota in 1989. She is the co-author of A Holistic Approach to Museum Pest Management, a technical leaflet for the American Association for State and Local History and established a rigorous IPM program for the Science Museum. She was a key member in the planning team that designed and built a new facility for the Science Museum of Minnesota. This endeavor resulted in not only a state of the art exhibition and storage facility, but also a major publication about the experience of building a new museum and creating the correct environments: Moving the Mountain. In 2009 she accepted the position of conservator and head of the conservation section at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh. Ms. Anderson is a member of the American Institute for Conservation and the Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections. She lectures and presents workshops on preventive conservation, IPM, cleaning in museums, and practical methods and materials for storage of collections.