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Utah Humanities | Museum Collections Stewardship Workshops | March 2015

Friday, June 5, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Maegan Wilberg
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Utah Humanities | Museum Collections Stewardship Workshops | March 2015

By: Maegan Wilberg

Maegan Wilburg participated in a recent Utah Humanities’ Collections Stewardship workshop. As Director of the Museum of the San Rafael, she had the opportunity to not only attend, but to also host the two-day workshop at her museum. Here are a few of her thoughts on the professional development opportunity in addition to hosting the workshop:

I am pleased to say that the training went very well and we learned so many things through our participation. It was our pleasure to be able to host a meeting like this. This meeting had so much information it was as if someone opened a fire hose and told us to drink from it. So much wonderful information that we can take and use for generations to come. It opened our eyes to the things that need to be changed. Helping staff, board members, and volunteers understand what needs to take place for the future of our museum. Here are some key points that stuck out in our minds that we learned:

-We are now able to look at an object and recognize the weak points in how they are displayed. What needs to be done to preserve and take better care of the objects we have.

-We also learned the importance of having strategic plans, exhibit, and artifact policies in place and are ready for action so we are not breaking any ethical or legal laws.

-Knowing about the different destructive elements that we have been using in the museum environment, will now help us be aware of what we need to do to preserve our artifacts while they are out on display. Collections documentation is extremely important in preserving the context of our artifacts for future generations.

-We learned that it is important to take the time to do things slowly and correctly rather than rushing through and having errors. It is okay to take baby steps, and ask for help.

-It is appropriate to de-accession artifacts that do not fit our mission statement. De-accessioning artifacts is a necessary process in any museum with limited space and staff abilities.

-Our storage space needs to be a separate clean and organized work space with appropriate tools to preserve and store our items that are not on display.

Thank you to Utah Humanities for this opportunity to learn; we always love to learn new things and you can always learn something new. Knowing now what we need to do, we are eager to get started. We know our limits and can now act accordingly.

Maegan Wilberg is the Director of the Museum of the San Rafael and Pioneer Museum in Castle Dale, Utah.

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