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News & Press: Annual Conference

2019 Conference Session Highlight: Collections

Saturday, June 1, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Carl Aldrich
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By Carrie Snow


Confession time:  When I view a conference program (other than UMA), I always look for the collections/registration sessions before I look at field trips, keynote speakers, and evening events.  Mainly because I love to geek out with people that get excited about inventories, crating, and climate control; honestly, education has no idea what it is missing. So with that in mind, I give you a Collections guide to the 2019 UMA conference.


We have a pair of workshops that are going to be amazing.  Photographing Objects focuses on techniques you can use to document your collection.  Few of us are not professional photographers, and I am willing to bet that most of us have a minimal budget to devote to photo documentation.  This workshop helps address that. Good photos can help document collections, be used in publications and exhibitions, and aid in object research.


Mountmaking 101 is designed to help attendees learn to mount their collections safely and securely.   A proper mount showcases your collection items, and many of the skills needed are not hard to master.

Curatorial supplies laid out on a table. Includes a blue pencil, black pen, needle and thread, cloth tags, paper tags, cotton gloves, and plastic gloves.


During the breakout sessions, I suggest a combination of sessions focusing on direct care of collections and some on the soft skills to help you advocate for your collections.


Rethinking the Rembrandt Rule is designed to spark thought on how to take care of your collections.   Are you focusing too much on care for items that are not integral to your mission?  Is there another way you can prioritize your efforts? These are some of the issues this session will cover and help you design a strategy to prioritize collections projects.  Are you Infra-Ready for a Tech & Collections Collaboration? Looks at some new technology to identify the materials making up the objects in your collections. Infrared scanning can identify elements objects are made from and help you determine how to care for them better.


Commit to Relevancy Through Traveling Exhibits may seem like an exhibition and education session.  But think about how traveling exhibits have the potential to expose staff to best practices in object mounting, care, and shipping from around the country.   


Keeping the Fires at Bay focuses on the crisis that seems to sneak up on us and threaten to thwart yearly goals and professional development. This session will help attendees focus on the root of problems and how to prevent them before they start as well as how to stay on top of tasks and plans during times of crisis.

Rounding out the field we have Finding a Seat at the Table, which is a session focusing on how to guide a conversation and engage the community on your particular issue/plan/project. All to often collections professionals can find themselves marginalized within the museum simply because they don’t know how to get staff and the public engaged in their work. This session hopes to provide strategies to get your message out there for people to embrace and champion.




Well, that’s it UMA 2019 in a nutshell.  I hope you will enjoy this offering and stretch yourself a little as you embrace the opportunity to grow.

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