Alaska State Museums Bulletin 49

Printable Version


SLAM project
Shaking the Money Tree
Spotlight on Grant in Aid
ASM on the Road
Alaska Museums in the News
Professional Development and Training Opportunities
Professional Time Wasting on the Web

State Library, Archives and Museum:  The SLAM project

Chief Curator Bob Banghart gives us an update on this important project:

The newly designed combined facility of the State Library, Archives and Museum, (SLAM), represents a growing trend worldwide in bringing under one roof institutions collecting, preserving and disseminating the intellectual and material evidence of their respective communities. Over 100 years ago the commitment to collect and preserve Alaskan culture and history in a formal setting was undertaken with the establishment of the History Library and Museum for the District of Alaska. As with the development and maturation of any institution, especially museums, growth has been slow but relatively steady. Expansion and improvements are being driven by the need for expanded collection protection / storage, exhibition space and service to the communities served.


The SLAM project is the next such step for the Alaska State Museum in the obligation we have to support our mission. It is important for any organization engaged in collection and preserving the records or objects from the past or the present to be forward-looking and to plan for the generation beyond the current…. no matter the size of the institution or the community it is located in.

Please take a moment to review what the SLAM project encompasses and visit our blog for more detail:

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Ask ASM                                                    

Question:  Recently a pipe leaked on two 8×10 color portraits that are in frames with glass on the front.  We don’t know if there are negatives available to replace them and these are important images of elders from our community.  What should we do?

ASM:  If just the frames are wet then it may not be necessary to take them out of the frames.  Just dry off with a cloth or paper towel.   If can see that the photos are wet you should try to carefully take them out of the frames.   If they appear to be stuck to the glass, STOP and do not try to force them off of the glass.  They will surely tear apart.  If they are stuck to the glass, then your best option would be to seek the advice of a photo conservator or get a good high resolution scan through the glass.  If they do come off the glass and out of the frame, blot the surface with paper towels.   Try and keep them from curling if possible.  This will be tricky as they can get sticky when they are damp.  Hanging them on a line with clothes pins can help, or you could try setting a small but heavy weight in each of the corners.  The image side should be up and they should be laying on a smooth dry surface.

You also want to be careful because there is a good potential for mold.  The gelatin layer on a photograph is a fertile medium for mold growth.  If you think water got under the frame then you want to unframed them if possible.  If you can’t un-frame them then you want to watch them closely for signs of mold growth.

This is what one photo conservator says about photos stuck to glass:

“Photographs stuck to glass can often be removed safely, but it is not a do it yourself technique I’m afraid. It’s basically a combination of controlled humidification and very careful mechanical separation. Sometimes they can also be soaked off, but that introduces its own problems and can be disastrous for some photographs if the gelatin image binder has been undermined by mold growth or if the gelatin was simply not very well hardened in the first place. So I would agree with the advice of “talk to a photograph conservator.” However, in this situation, scanning and reproduction is likely your best bet. Removal by a conservator would likely be both time-consuming and expensive, though it would also yield the best results.  When framing, make sure to use a window mat or spacers so that the image is not in directly contact with the glass or anything else.”

Gawain Weaver, Photograph Conservator

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Shaking the Money Tree


Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum Services grant.

Deadline:        April 02, 2012

Grant Amount:           $5,000 – $50,000

Grant Period:  Up to two years

Matching Requirement:         No matching requirements

Program Contact:       Sandra Narva, Senior Museum Program Officer


Reagan Moore, Museum Program Specialist


The Web conference schedule for the FY12 Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum Services grant program is as follows:

Wednesday, February 22, 2012, at 3:00-4:00pm Eastern Time

A few minutes before the start time, go to the following Web page through your browser:

You will be asked to enter your name and your e-mail address. For the audio connection, dial 1-888-272-8702, on your phone, and when prompted, enter the code 7475003#.

Please note that the schedule is subject to change. Check this page again the week the Web conference is scheduled to confirm the date and time.

Program Overview:

The Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum Services program promotes enhanced learning and innovation within museums and museum related organizations, such as cultural centers. The program provides opportunities for Native American tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge by strengthened museum services in the following areas:

•           Programming: Services and activities that support the educational mission of museums and museum-related organizations

•           Professional development: Education or training that builds skills, knowledge, or other professional capacity for persons, either paid or volunteer, who provide or manage museum service activities

•           Enhancement of museum services: Support for activities that enable and improve museum services


Eligible applicants are

•           federally recognized Indian tribes,

•           Alaska Native villages and corporations, and,

•           organizations that primarily serve and represent Native Hawaiians.

Entities such as museums, libraries, schools, tribal colleges, or departments of education are not eligible applicants, although they may be involved in the administration of the program and their staff may serve as project directors, in partnership with eligible applicants. Please see fuller eligibility criteria within the guidelines.


The 2012 guidelines for Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions are available at You will also find sample project descriptions, sample narratives, and a list of frequently asked questions.

The deadline for applications is May 1, 2012.

Small and mid-sized institutions that have never received an NEH grant and those considering projects in digital preservation are especially encouraged to apply.

For more information, contact the staff of NEH’s Division of Preservation and Access at 202-606-8570 and

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Spotlight on Grant in Aid

The Baranov Museum in Kodiak hosts an intern

For this project we hosted Fran Ritchie, a graduate student in Art Conservation at Buffalo State College, for an 8-week internship. The project was designed to improve collections care at the Baranov Museum by creating custom storage for objects and artifacts in Collection Room I.

Ivory Storage Before

Ivory Storage After

Fran was able to accomplish all of the deliverables identified in the grant and complete additional priorities outlined in our 2007 Collections Conservation Assessment.

In summary, her work included:

  1. Constructing padded archival boxes to house 67 accessioned objects and ethafoam-lined trays for an additional 176 accessioned objects.
  2. Completing a condition assessment for each of the above referenced objects and updating the Museum’s Past-Perfect database.
  3. Replacing accession numbers on the above referenced objects with paper printed labels and a B-72 barrier and topcoat.
  4. Developing a “Basic Handling Guide” reference sheet for Baranov Museum staff and volunteers who may work from time to time with the collections.  Handling Guideline
  5. Completing testing for the presence of arsenic in older taxidermy specimens at the Museum.
  6. Performing minor conservation treatments of museum objects including the removal of white accretion on the surface of an archaeological spruce root basket previously treated by Dana Senge of DKS Conservation Services.

This project successfully improved the physical support of objects and artifacts in the collection, provided a further environmental buffer to light, dust and temperature and humidity fluctuations and will result in reduced handling of materials. Additionally, Fran Ritchie was an affable, diligent, and motivating team player – a great ambassador for the conservation profession.

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ASM on the Road

Scott Carrlee, Curator of Museum Services, coordinated and co-taught the Alaska Native Libraries, Archives, and Museums Summit (ANLAMS) Museum Boot Camp, Feb 6-9 in Anchorage.  There were 12 participants and 8 instructors in the workshop.

The following topics were covered:

“Starting Off Right:  Building a Meaningful Collection, Becoming a Mission Driven Institution”

Instructor:  Scott Carrlee, Alaska State Museums

“Managing Collections: (Almost) Everything You need to Know in Order to Handle, House and Care for Your Collections”

Instructor:  Scott Neel, Curator of Collections and Exhibits, Alaska Native Heritage Center

“Strategic Planning: Charting Your Organization’s Future”

Instructor:  Scott Carrlee, Alaska State Museums

“Forms, Policies and Procedures: The Basics of How to Catalog an Object Collection”

Instructor:  Ryan Kenny, Registrar Anchorage Museum

“Disaster Planning for Small Museums”

Instructor:  Molly Conley, State Office of History & Archaeology

“Caring for Sacred Objects” Key note speaker Jim Pepper Henry, CEO Anchorage Museum

“Learning About Archival Collections”

Instructor:  Robyn Dexter, NARA Archivist for the State of Alaska

“Museums Places of Healing”

Instructors: Dr. Holly Cusack McVeigh, Curator Pratt Museum; Mique’l Dangeli, Director Duncan Cottage Museum

“Community Based Exhibits and Programming”

Instructors: Dr. Holly Cusack McVeigh, Curator Pratt Museum; Scott Carrlee, Alaska State Museums

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Alaska Museums in the News

Wrangell Museum moves forward in accreditation process

Passion and hard work go toward creating Fairbanks’ “Museum Without Walls”

Preston Singletary: Echoes, Fire and Shadows exhibits at Anchorage Museum Feb.-April

Fort Egbert created to provide law on the Alaska-Canada border

Greg Kimura joins the Japanese American National Museum

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Professional Development/Training Opportunities

Heritage Preservation is pleased to announce the schedule for the C2C Online Community’s next six live chat events:

* “Making the Most of the Storage You Have” – Thursday, February 23 at 1:00 pm Eastern. Featuring Laura Hortz Stanton, Director of Preservation Services at the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) and Julia Clark, Curator of Collections, Abbe Museum.

* “Choosing the Datalogger That Is Right for You” – Tuesday, March 6 at 1:00 pm Eastern. Rachael Arenstein, Partner, A.M. Art Conservation, Inc.

* “Applying to NEH’s Preservation Assistance Grants” – Monday, March

12 at 1:00 pm Eastern. Elizabeth Joffrion, Senior Program Officer, Division of Preservation and Access, National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

* “Introduction to LED Lighting” – Thursday, March 29 at 1:00 pm Eastern. Richard L. Kerschner, Director of Preservation and Conservation and Nancie Ravenel, Object Conservator, both at the Shelburne Museum

* “Outsourcing Digitization” – Wednesday, April 4 at 1:00 pm Eastern.

Robin Dale, Director of Digital & Preservation Services, LYRASIS

* “Mayday! Create a Game Plan” – Wednesday, April 18 at 1:00 pm Eastern. Lori Foley, Vice President for Emergency Programs, Heritage Preservation

No registration is required to log into these live chats–just go to<>

and click on the Meeting Room menu. An archive of previous live chat events can be also be found there. Resources and further information on the programs will appear in the Featured Resource section of the web site a week before the event.

National Archives Videos

For the first time, the National Archives has launched online videos of its most popular genealogy “how to” workshops. These videos cover hot topics in genealogical research such as census, immigration, and military records. Now, these popular workshops led by National Archives experts are available on the National Archives YouTube channel

The National Archives-produced Know Your Records video shorts cover the creation, scope, content, and use of National Archives records for genealogical research. “The National Archives is proud to make our most popular genealogy lectures available online and ready for viewing by anyone, anywhere, at any time,” said Diane Dimkoff, Director of Customer Services.

Topics include searching military records, immigration records, and census data.

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Professional Time Wasting on the Web

In honor of winter a selection from the Museum of Bad Art

Native American artifacts stolen from Blue Lake Museum

A fast look at a YouTube marketing video put out by one of the pros!

“Come for the Superbowl, stay for the museum:”

Thaw Collection special exhibition

Alaska artist Nicholas Galanin works in many medPrintable Versioniums

East meets Northwest Coast

In Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. there now stands proudly a totem pole carved by Tsimshian carvers David Boxley and his son, also named David.

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