Contents:Alyssa Magnone Internship Ask ASM Shaking the Money Tree Spotlight on Grant in Aid Alaska Museums in the News Professional Development/Training Opportunities Professional Time Wasting on the Web
Summer Internship at the Sheldon Museum in Haines AK
By Alyssa Magnone
My summer internship at the Sheldon Museum and Cultural Center was a successful one. The original plan for the internship was to spend about 20 hours each week working with collections and 20 hours working on other areas, such as exhibits. I would say that, for the most part, this was how my hours were divided. I do think I probably spent more time in collections, but since this is the museum work I really enjoy, I did not mind.
Over the course of 8 weeks, I was able to accomplish a number of tasks. I learned how to use PastPerfect 5.0, which will be a great asset to me when I graduate in December and am looking for a job in the Collections Management field. I had previous database experience, but not specifically with the PastPerfect program. A lot of my work revolving around PastPerfect involved accessioning incoming object donations and found-in-collection/staff collected donations. When working with PastPerfect, a lot of my time was spent scanning photographs and uploading them to the database.
Another large portion of my time was spent revamping the Multiplex exhibition boards that used to hang in the Upper Gallery. I decided to start with the boards that coincided with the shipwrecks/Eldred Rock Lighthouse display. I was able to completely finish six boards that focus on the mystery surrounding the sinking of the Clara Nevada and began creating others that focused on Eldred Rock. This was a challenge for me since I am not skilled in using Photoshop (or any other photo manipulation program), but I am happy with the end result and I am glad that I had an opportunity to gain an understanding of the program, albeit elementary.
I also did a number of odds and ends throughout my time at the Sheldon. I helped with reception and gift shop duties, collections storage clean-up, exhibition openings, maintained the children’s area, created exhibition labels, recorded lectures, and provided an extra hand whenever and wherever it was needed. I think the most important thing that I learned was how to work within a small museum system. On any given day, I really had to be prepared to do anything! I really felt like I became a part of the Sheldon. I was treated more as an employee than an intern—which was a refreshing change from some previous experiences.
Additionally, I thoroughly enjoyed my time here in Haines. Residents of Haines and the museum’s staff were more than willing to let me tag a long on everything I could, from seaweed picking to kayaking. Dave Pahl (Hammer Museum) even arranged for the Hammer Museum interns and I to take a day trip to Skagway on the Fast Ferry. I am very grateful that people were so welcoming and generous. It was truly an unforgettable experience!
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Question: I received a catalog in the mail from a store that supplies mannequins. They have cheap body form mannequins made from molded polyurethane foam covered in jersey. Based on price and simple design, these would be great for exhibits. Is polyurethane a safe material to use?
ASM: This might be alright for stores to use or for really short duration displays in a museum. However, polyurethane foam is definitely a non-archival material, and has poor aging properties. Over time it degrades. And not much time either. Like within 5-10 years or so, depending on conditions. It tends to either become crumbly, or sticky. I have seen it damage artifacts in museum collections when used as a padding. However, for short term uses, it is technically OK, if there are adequate barrier layers between it and the artifact. We do ship artifacts in crates using this foam…the gray/black foam we use is polyurethane. Downsides: something “temporary” becomes more permanent, mannequin parts get mixed in and used in permanent situations because of pressures of time or money. In those situations, staff feel pressure to go ahead and use what is on hand. Also, for a traveling exhibit or loans, it sends the message to other institutions that the you might think these materials are OK, and you are likely to use them in inappropriate situations.
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Shaking the Money Tree
2015 Conservation Assessment Program Application Available
Heritage Preservation is pleased to announce the availability of Conservation Assessment Program (CAP) application as of October 1, 2014. The 2015 program year marks the 25th anniversary of CAP, and the admittance of our 3000th museum!
CAP is funded through a cooperative agreement with the Institute of Museum & Library Services, and is administered by Heritage Preservation. The program provides technical assistance to small to mid-sized museums to hire a professional conservator, approved by Heritage Preservation, for a two-day site visit. The CAP assessor uses the site visit to examine the museum’s collections, environmental conditions, and sites. The assessor then spends three days writing a report recommending priorities to improve collections care. The assessment reports submitted by professional conservators can assist the museum in developing strategies for improved collections care, long-range planning, and fund-raising for collections care.
Funds are awarded based on the museum’s budget, so the cost to the museum varies. All museums are awarded a collections assessor. Museums with buildings older than 50 years receive additional funds for an architectural assessor to identify priorities for care of the building(s). In the case of institutions such as zoos, aquariums, nature centers, botanical gardens, and arboreta, CAP can fund a specialist to assess the living collections as well as the non-living collections.
Since CAP is limited to a two-day site visit, museums with small to mid-sized collections are most appropriate for this program. Larger institutions are encouraged to contact IMLS for information on the Museums for America (MFA) grant. MFA grants fund a variety of conservation projects, including general conservation surveys that can accommodate a more extensive site visit by a professional conservator.
Geared toward smaller institutions, the CAP application process is simple, and awards are made to eligible applicants as funding permits. The 2015 CAP application will be open until Monday, December 1, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. The online application can be accessed at http://cap.heritagepreservation.org. A link to this website, as well as to a fillable PDF can be found at http://www.heritagepreservation.org/CAP/application.html#apply2
To receive further information, visit our website at: http://www.heritagepreservation.org/CAP/FAQs.html
Or, contact us at:
Conservation Assessment ProgramHeritage Preservation 1012 14th Street, NW Suite 1200 Washington, D.C. 20005 202-233-0800 firstname.lastname@example.org
Call for Applications for Five IMLS Museum Grant Programs for FY 2015
Washington, DC—The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is accepting applications in all of its museum grant programs. The application deadline for each of these programs is December 1, 2014.
For more information about these notices of funding opportunities, including instructions for completing applications, contacts, and webinar access information, click on any of the following links.
- National Leadership Grants for Museums
- Sparks! Ignition Grants for Museums
- Museums for America
- Museum Grants for African American History and Culture
- Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum Services Program
IMLS staff members are available by phone and email to discuss general issues relating to these funding programs.
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Spotlight on Grant in Aid
The Alaska State Museum announced the awarding of 22 grants totaling $105,600 to Alaska museums and cultural centers for museum projects around the state. The following awards were made:
|Alaska Jewish Museum, Anchorage||Collections management||8,456|
|Museum of Science and Nature, Anchorage||Museum supplies||4,017|
|Alpine Historical society, Sutton||Support for large artifacts||2,000|
|Alutiiq Museum, Kodiak||Alutiiq dance history||7,573|
|Anchorage Museum, Anchorage||Conservation of photos||3,330|
|Beringia Center of Culture and Science, Nome||fireproof filing cabinet||2,000|
|Cordova Historical Society, Cordova||Preparation for move||7,710|
|Eagle Historical Society, Eagle||Update media equipment||2,000|
|Hammer Museum, Haines||Purchase printers||2,000|
|Hope Sunrise Historical Society, Hope||Outdoor exhibit signage||1,604|
|Juneau Douglas City Museum, Juneau||Exhibit upgrade||9,710|
|Ketchikan Museum Department, Ketchikan||Museum security upgrade||8,780|
|Kodiak Historical Society, Kodiak||Digital management plan||4,400|
|Kodiak Maritime Museum, Kodiak||Design interpretive display||8,400|
|Museum of AK Transportation & Industry, Wasilla||Computer equipment||1,945|
|Museum of the Aleutians, Unalaska||Purchase dataloggers||1,220|
|Museums Alaska, Statewide||Workshop for Meeting||7,060|
|Pioneer Air Museum, Fairbanks||Cataloging Project||6,000|
|Pratt Museum, Homer||Remote camera project||6,595|
|Sheldon Museum, Haines||Collections management||4,400|
|Friends Tanana Valley RR Museum, Fairbanks||Diorama exhibit fabrication||2,000|
|Valdez Museum, Valdez||Cataloging Project||4,400|
Alaska Museums in the News
Hayley Chambers is the new senior curator at the Ketchikan Museums
Arts and Industry in Alaska
Professional Development/Training Opportunities
Upcoming Webinars for State Cultural Heritage Disaster Networks
Federal Disaster Recovery Assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for Private, Nonprofit Organizations
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
3:00 – 4:30 pm Eastern
Presenter: Mark Randle, SBA Public Information Officer
Topics to be covered include:
- The SBA federal declaration process: How, When, Where
- Loans to help repair/replace property damage
- Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster
- Eligibility, terms, and conditions
- The application process and the processing of applications
- Disbursement of funds and the use of loan proceeds
Who Should Attend?
Interested members of a state cultural heritage emergency network, including but not limited to:
- Representatives of state cultural agencies – State Library, State Museum, State Archives, State Arts Council, State Humanities Council, State Historic Preservation Office – who have an obligation (whether legal or moral) to assist their constituents following a disaster
- Representatives of local, county, state, and federal emergency management (EM) agencies
- Representatives of national, regional, or state museum, library, or archives associations
- Colleagues at other state agencies who would benefit from the webinars. Please pass this email along to them!
Although the information is relevant to all cultural institutions, we’d like to keep participation in the live webinar down to a manageable number so the instructor can field questions that apply primarily to state cultural and EM agencies. Our aim is to provide information that’s most useful to network members, who will then be better equipped to help their constituents.
The webinar will be recorded, and once it’s been posted to the State Heritage Emergency Partnership website, www.heritagepreservation.org/shep, we’ll remind you to notify your constituents of its availability.
Thanks to funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the State Heritage Emergency Partnership 2014 Webinar Series is free. However, registration for each webinar is required for attendance.
Professional Time Wasting on the Web
Cool video on the conservation of a huge Spanish colonial frame
Dermestid Beetles put to good use
Video of a cemetery tour