View Full Version : Museum Handbook With Quick Reference

T. Ashley McGrew
07-02-2010, 08:45 AM
This classic has a brand new addition. The Quick Reference makes it easy to navigate through all three sections.
Published by the National Park Service this document contains a surprising amount of useful information on fundamental Museum Practices, as well as some that is somewhat dated.
It tries to cover many things for many different types of (non art) museums and as a result it can't possibly be as detailed as we might like in each specific discipline.
Never-the-less as a general online Museum reference you are doing yourself a genuine disservice it you don't have this publication on your favorites list or downloaded somewhere.

NPS Museum Handbook (http://www.nps.gov/history/museum/publications/Museum%20Handbook%20with%20Quick%20Reference.pdf)

It does have some packing content, but I like in particular how it answers the following question.

How can I learn how to pack museum objects?

Begin by following the rules for the proper handling of objects. See
Sections B and C of this chapter. The best way to learn how to pack is to
work with an experienced packer. Learn to pack different types of materials, such as textiles and glass.
Each object requires a uniquepacking solution.Museum professional associations often offer classes on packing and shipping.

Storage issues, Environmental controls, Security conserns, Curatorial practices, Design parameters, Conservation practices, and Registration requirements etc...all play a roles in our work and in many cases they may actually be part of either our own job description or just as likely part of a colleagues in another institution or company.

Having an understanding of how what we do relates to the roles that other people play in the collections care field is a key to being a truly effective team member or leader.
The more you know, the more understanding and helpful you can be to those high quality professionals you work with and respect in related fields, and the less bullied or intimidated you are likely to feel by those few individuals whose egos far exceed their abilities.
This like everything the Park Service does, is an extremely accessible read which sets an excellent example for others who really want their publications to have the maximum impact (I would like more and better images though).

11-23-2011, 07:44 PM
it's indeed a good read, thanks for posting it, very educational..:)