Providing collection care, preservation and conservation treatment services to collectors and collecting institutions.
by Helen Alten
Building a collections care resource library for your institution is an inexpensive way to educate staff and volunteers and pass along information to new personnel. Some basic publications will build your library into a useful resource.
Two excellent publications from the Texas Association of Museums will help the new museum: Starting a Museum Packet and The Museum Forms Book. The first contains the book Starting Right: A Basic Guide to Museum Planning by Cindy Sherrell-Leo and Gerald George. It also contains a number of useful articles and source lists. The packet is $20 for TAM members and $25 for nonmembers.
American Association of Museums
P.O. Box 4002
Washington, DC 20042-4002
29 West 35th Street,
New York, NY 10001
6 Fitzroy Square
London W1P 6DX
tel: (44) 171-387-9651
fax: (44) 171-388-0283
Note: the Archetype Books catalogue is worth the price of an overseas stamp.
National Park Service
Museum Management Program
P.O. Box 37127
Washington, DC 20013-7127
Canadian Conservation Institute Publications Office
1030 Innes Road
Canada K1A 0M5
tel: 613- 998-3721
fax: 613- 998-4721
The American Association of Museums Technical Information Service has published another museum primer. Organizing Your Museum: The Essentials provides an overview of the duties, responsibilities and opportunities assumed when organizing a new museum. It is available for $27.50 (AAM members) or $35 (nonmembers).
The Leicester Readers in Museum Studies, published by Routledge, cover issues in museum management and care from the English perspective. These books are recommended because conservation and preservation are incorporated at all levels, as an intrinsic part of every museum. The series includes the following titles:
The United States National Park Service has produced two helpful handbooks. The first is the NPS Museum Handbook, a weighty reference guide divided into three parts: Museum collections, documentation and use of collections. The second publication is the Conserve O Gram Series, a compilation of 56 short, focused leaflets published in a three-ring binder. Each leaflet provides detailed care information for specific types of objects.
Similar to the Conserve O Gram Series, CCI Notes, published by the Canadian government, offer practical advice about issues and questions related to the care, handling and storage of cultural objects. There are more than 80 notes in this ever-expanding series. CCI Notes can be purchased individually or as a set in a binder. Individual notes cost $2 dollars Canadian, the binder set is $85 dollars Canadian.
Helen Alten has written and lectured on preventive care techniques since 1986. She is an objects conservator specializing in treatments for historical, archaeological and ethnographic materials.