Online Course: Collections Management

Course Description

This eight week course will introduce participants to the professional principles and practices in the management of museum collections. Topics will include collections development, registration and record keeping with an emphasis on the development of Collection Policies and Procedures and what it means to be intellectually and physically responsible for museum objects.

At the beginning of the course participants will be asked to select five objects from their museum to work with throughout the eight weeks. During the course, participants will be working on a collection management policy draft, and conducting some management tasks with their mini-collection objects.

Details

COURSE DATES: March 2 - April 26, 2020

COST: $195 AASLH Members / $295 Nonmembers

OPEN REGISTRATION: December 2, 2019 - February 23, 2020; 30 participant limit

Course Logistics

FORMAT: Online, instructor-led, weekly-paced course

LENGTH: 8 weeks

PARTICIPATION STYLE: Four one-hour online chats, participation is expected for at least two chats - chat schedule to be determined by the instructor at the start of the course - if you are unable to attend a chat you can read the transcript and then post your thoughts/questions in the General Forum; weekly readings and assignments; final course assignment. Students should expect to spend approximately 2-5 hours per week on the course.

MATERIALS: One required text: John E. Simmons, Things Great and Small: Collections Management Policies, Washington, DC: American Alliance of Museums, 2006 (ISBN 10:1-933253-03-07). Optional text: Daniel B. Reibel. Registration Methods for the Small MuseumFourth Edition, Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press, 2008 (Paperback ISBN 978-0-7591-1131-8)  (Texts are NOT INCLUDED with your registration. You must order the book separately from the book seller of your choice.)

CREDIT: Successful completion of this course (80% or higher) will earn one credit toward the Small Museum Pro! certificate from AASLH.
REGISTER HERE

Participant Outcomes

By the end of this course participants will:

  • Develop a detailed draft of a Collections Policy
  • Identify a collection of objects
  • Develop a standardized set of registration records and forms including inventory, catalog, accession, and loans
  • Learn about various registration numbering systems and how to mark objects appropriately
  • Discuss issues related to collections strategies, mission, purpose, and scope of collections
  • Develop a broader understanding of legal and ethical concerns of managing collections

Who Should Take This Course

This course is a beginning level course designed for professional staff and volunteers of historical organizations and libraries with historical collections who have little to no experience with collections management. This course requires participants have access to museum collections to successfully complete this course, either as a staff member, volunteer, or intern.


Online Course: Collections Management

Course Description

This eight week course will introduce participants to the professional principles and practices in the management of museum collections. Topics will include collections development, registration and record keeping with an emphasis on the development of Collection Policies and Procedures and what it means to be intellectually and physically responsible for museum objects.

At the beginning of the course participants will be asked to select five objects from their museum to work with throughout the eight weeks. During the course, participants will be working on a collection management policy draft, and conducting some management tasks with their mini-collection objects.

Details

COURSE DATES: January 27 - March 22, 2020

COST: $195 AASLH Members / $295 Nonmembers

OPEN REGISTRATION: November 26, 2019 - January 19, 2020; 30 participant limit

Course Logistics

FORMAT: Online, instructor-led, weekly-paced course

LENGTH: 8 weeks

PARTICIPATION STYLE: Four one-hour online chats, participation is expected for at least two chats - chat schedule to be determined by the instructor at the start of the course - if you are unable to attend a chat you can read the transcript and then post your thoughts/questions in the General Forum; weekly readings and assignments; final course assignment. Students should expect to spend approximately 2-5 hours per week on the course.

MATERIALS: One required text: John E. Simmons, Things Great and Small: Collections Management Policies, Washington, DC: American Alliance of Museums, 2006 (ISBN 10:1-933253-03-07). Optional text: Daniel B. Reibel. Registration Methods for the Small MuseumFourth Edition, Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press, 2008 (Paperback ISBN 978-0-7591-1131-8)  (Texts are NOT INCLUDED with your registration. You must order the book separately from the book seller of your choice.)

CREDIT: Successful completion of this course (80% or higher) will earn one credit toward the Small Museum Pro! certificate from AASLH.
REGISTER HERE

Participant Outcomes

By the end of this course participants will:

  • Develop a detailed draft of a Collections Policy
  • Identify a collection of objects
  • Develop a standardized set of registration records and forms including inventory, catalog, accession, and loans
  • Learn about various registration numbering systems and how to mark objects appropriately
  • Discuss issues related to collections strategies, mission, purpose, and scope of collections
  • Develop a broader understanding of legal and ethical concerns of managing collections

Who Should Take This Course

This course is a beginning level course designed for professional staff and volunteers of historical organizations and libraries with historical collections who have little to no experience with collections management. This course requires participants have access to museum collections to successfully complete this course, either as a staff member, volunteer, or intern.


We Are All the Spinning Wheel

Throughout the course of my visits to museums, historic houses, and historic sites around New England, I found one specific object repeatedly piquing my curiosity more often than any other. Usually maligned and rarely celebrated, it seems that both history and fate have branded this object not only ubiquitous, but also useless and irrelevant; and as such blameworthy for the plight facing the twenty-first-century museum as it strives to keep pace with rapidly changing trends, learning theories, and demographics that characterize our society today. While I wholeheartedly agree that this object may indeed be ubiquitous in museums, and to some degree, useless by today’s standards, it is by no means irrelevant. I’d like to make a case for the defense of what has apparently, through no fault of its own, become one of history’s most disparaged offenders in the world of museology: the spinning wheel.

For most of us, thoughts of the spinning wheel often conjure up visions of a pricked finger in a fairy tale, or a Betsy Ross-type figure spinning wool beside a hearth… and a butter churn… and a bed warmer...  But what many of us may not know is that the spinning wheel has over one thousand years of global history. Its replacement of the drop spindle led to a one-hundred-fold increase in the speed at which fiber could be spun. In Europe, this led to an increased availability of linen rags, which removed the bottleneck caused by the high demand for then-recently introduced paper. This provided Gutenberg with the ability to introduce printing, which led to widespread education, and the rest is, as the saying goes, “history.”

Eventually, the spinning wheel became obsolete with the advent of the mass textile manufacturing ushered in by the Industrial Revolution, which ultimately provided the widespread commercial availability of cloth that we know and enjoy today. One might argue that without the evolution of technology brought about by the spinning wheel, we might all be laboring at a hearth… next to a butter churn… and a bed warmer… making our own clothes on a drop spindle. While considered by many to be dull and prosaic, the ubiquity of the spinning wheel has led to its inclusion in the art, literature, and other expressions of cultures around the world. Thus, it might be theorized that the spinning wheel may actually be heralded as one of the few objects that continue to be collectively and globally relevant to all of us.

Seen in this light, we might view the denigrated spinning wheel as a metaphor for museums in the twenty-first century as agents for building a stronger and more empathetic global community, where mere curiosity is heightened to a yearning for real understanding, and information serves not only to relate facts, but also to foster a sense of relevance and optimism. When we, as museologists, engage one another and the public at large as fellow human beings, we must take the time in our harried worlds to look deeper beneath the surface, reflect, contemplate, question, and perhaps most importantly, feel. Only by doing so will we come to the realization that each and every one of us, like the spinning wheel, has an inherent sense of importance. And be mindful that each of our thoughts, our words, our deeds, our actions, has purpose… and consequences. Each of us has a unique story to tell, and with it, something worthwhile and relevant to offer.

I am confident that museums will continue on their trajectory to becoming more welcoming centers for inquiry, learning, and understanding. But what are museums other than institutions governed, curated, and visited by people? People like me and you, who together can rise above the din of the status quo by refusing to see, accept, and judge things at their face value. So if history teaches us anything, instead of feeling sympathy for the spinning wheel, I say we celebrate it. And by seeing the attributes of the spinning wheel in each and every one of us, spread this celebratory joy as we pursue the endeavors, trials, and tribulations on our individual and collective life journeys.


Webinar: Caring for Paper Collections

This webinar will give an introduction to best practices in caring for any paper-based collection. Topics covered will include: handling guidelines, assessing storage materials and special needs items, prioritizing for treatment, and understanding preservation and conservation terminology. This program is appropriate for those looking to develop new skills, as well as for individuals wanting to increase their knowledge about best practices in the care of paper-based collections.

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Details:

Date: December 12, 2017

Time: 3pm Eastern/2pm Central/1pm Mountain/12pm Pacific/10am Hawaii/4pm Atlantic

Cost: $40 members/$65 nonmembers

Closed captioning available upon advanced notice. Please contact [email protected] for more information.

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About the Instructor:

As Preservation Specialist, Samantha Forsko works with institutions and their collections. She conducts on-site preservation needs and risk assessments and assists with preservation planning. She also develops and presents educational programs and provides technical information to libraries, archives, museums, historic sites, and other cultural institutions.    

Before joining the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts, Samantha worked at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as a collections manager. She has also worked as a conservation technician for the Regional Arts and Culture Council and Cascadia Art Conservation Center, both in Portland, Oregon. Samantha received her MA in Arts Management with a focus on Archival and Museum Studies from Claremont Graduate University, in Claremont, California.

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Webinar: Caring for Photograph Collections

Photographic media are sensitive materials that require special housing to ensure their longevity. This webinar will examine suitable housing supplies, including paper, plastics, interleaving papers, boxes, and more. Environmental parameters for storage, proper labeling techniques, and safe handling of photographs will also be discussed.

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Details:

Date: December 5, 2017

Time: 3pm Eastern/2pm Central/1pm Mountain/12pm Pacific/10am Hawaii/4pm Atlantic

Cost: $40 members/$65 nonmembers

Closed captioning available upon advanced notice. Please contact [email protected] for more information.

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About the Instructor:

Rachel Wetzel received a Bachelors of Arts in Art History & Sculpture from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Masters of Arts degree with a certificate in Art Conservation in 2005 from the State University of New York, Buffalo State College. She holds a certificate for the completion of the Advance Residency Program in Photograph Conservation at the George Eastman House.

Prior to joining the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts, she completed internships at the George Eastman House and the Image Permanence Institute at Rochester Institute of Technology, both in Rochester NY, Heugh-Edmonson Conservation, LLC, at the private conservation studio of Paul Messier and at the Library of Congress. 

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Online Course: Basics of Archives

The newly revised Basics of Archives online course is designed to give organizations and individuals who are responsible for the care of historical records an introduction to the core aspects of managing and protecting historical records collections, using appropriate principles and best practices.

Register

Details:

November 15-December 15, 2017

15-20 hours to be completed anytime during the above dates.

Cost: $85 members/$160 nonmembers

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Full Online Course Description:

The newly revised Basics of Archives online course is designed to give organizations and individuals who are responsible for the care of historical records an introduction to the core aspects of managing and protecting historical records collections, using appropriate principles and best practices.

The course consists of five lessons:

  • Archives and Archivists
  • Acquiring Your Collections
  • Processing Collections
  • Housing Your Collections
  • Access and Outreach

The course is web-based and takes 15-20 hours to complete. There are no required times to be online. You may finish the course anytime during the four-week course period.

Who Should Take This Course:

This course is a beginning level course designed for professional staff and volunteers of historical organizations and libraries with historical collections who have little to no experience with archival materials.

Register

About the Instructor: 

Charles Arp is the Enterprise Content Manager-IT at the Battelle Memorial Institute. Previously, he worked for the Ohio Historical Society for thirteen years, ultimately becoming Ohio's State Archivist. Charlie has a BA and MA in history from Ohio University.

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Active Collections: How to Create a Leaner Collection for Greater Impact

Looking to explore options of what it means to steward leaner, more sustainable collections with greater impact? Join Elee Wood, Rainey Tisdale, and Trevor Jones for a lively interactive discussion of ideas and action items on innovative and possibly unconventional ideas for collections stewardship and management. Topics will include new approaches to collections development, cataloging, policy, deaccessioning.  Participants will gain practical strategies and tools to shape your collection for greater impact.

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Details:

Date: November 7, 2017

Time: 3pm Eastern/2pm Central/1pm Mountain/12pm Pacific/10am Hawaii/4pm Atlantic

Cost: $40 members/$65 nonmembers

Closed captioning available upon advanced notice. Please contact [email protected] for more information.

Register

About the Speakers:

Trevor Jones is Director and CEO of the Nebraska State Historical Society. He believes that museum collections have the power to tell amazing stories, and has helped museums of all sizes rethink how artifact collections support their mission. Trevor holds BA degrees in history and German from Grinnell College, an MA degree in history and Certificate in Museum Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute.

 

 

Rainey Tisdale is an independent curator who leads for change on field-wide issues including place-based interpretation, collections stewardship, creative practice, and museums & well-being. She has held curatorial positions at the AFL-CIO’s museum, the US Senate’s Office of Senate Curator, and the Bostonian Society; she was a Fulbright Scholar in Helsinki, Finland and a community fellow at Brown University’s John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities; and taught in the Museum Studies Program at Tufts University. She is an international expert on city museums and a co-founder of the Active Collections Project. With Linda Norris, she co-authored Creativity in Museum Practice.

 

 

Elee Wood is professor of museum studies, and public scholar of museums, families, and learning in the Museum Studies Program at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), and Associate Dean of Student Affairs in the School of Liberal Arts. Wood’s research includes the study of visitor-object experiences in museums, object-based learning, critical museum pedagogy, and evaluation capacity building. She is co-author of The Objects of Experience: Transforming Visitor-Object Encounters in Museums with Kiersten F. Latham (Routledge, 2014) and joined the Active Collections Project in 2014.

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Workshop: Connecting Your Collections to Teachers and Students

Through a combination of presentations, discussion, hands-on activities, and take-home materials, this workshop addresses the elements of museum educational and programming  needed to create engaging, educational, and successful collections-based programming.

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Date: June 22-23, 2017

Cost: $280 AASLH members/$405 nonmembers
*Get $40 off registration if you book by May 18, 2017!*

Location: George Mason's Gunston Hall, Mason Neck, VA

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Description:

Through a combination of presentations, discussion, hands-on activities, and take-home materials, this workshop addresses the elements of museum educational and programming  needed to create engaging, educational, and successful collections-based programming. Learn how to craft programming that is meaningful to the education community.

Topics include learning styles, presentation strategies, audience types, planning strategies, program assessment, research, and staff training.

Who Should Attend:
This workshop is ideally suited for staff (first-time museum educators, directors, tour guides or volunteer managers and mid-career professionals), museum studies students, or dedicated volunteers working in all types of museums who are given the responsibility of education and public programming.

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About the Faculty:

07acd61Stacia Kuceyeski is the Director of Outreach at the Ohio History Connection. Stacia provides high quality professional development for cultural heritage professionals as well as a K-16 audience in a variety of humanities content areas and learning theories. She has presented and published for a number of organizations including the American Association of State and Local History, the Midwest Archives Conference and the Teaching American History Project Directors’ Conference. Stacia also has extensive grant writing experience and has received funding from a variety of national, state and local foundations and granting agencies. Luckily, her grant writing abilities far surpass her singing, drawing and poetry writing skills. When not making professional development magic happen, Stacia enjoys the Golden Girls, sassy earrings and an unnatural affection for our 27th president, William Howard Taft. Stacia earned her B.A. in History and her M.A. in Cultural Policy and Arts Administration, both from The Ohio State University.

 

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Megan Wood is the Director of Museum and Library Services at the Ohio History Connection. Megan has over a decade of experience in museums and public history. She has a MA in History Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program and a BA in Public History from Western Michigan University.

 

 

 

This workshop is presented in partnership with the Creative Learning Factory at the Ohio History Connection.

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Workshop: Collections Management and Practices

Learn about your institution’s responsibility toward its collection, necessary policies and procedures, and the best practices of collection management.

Details:

Date: June 5-6, 2017

Location:  Maine Historical Society, Portland, ME

Cost: $280 AASLH members/$405 nonmembers
*Get $40 off registration if you book by May 1, 2017!*

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Workshop Description:

Learn about your institution’s responsibility toward its collection, necessary policies and procedures, and the best practices of collection management. Through lively group discussions and hands-on activities, you will become familiar with current issues and trends to better understand how collections fit within the context of history organizations. The workshop will also explore the role of collections in exhibition and interpretation, the basic steps of collections management from acquisition to disposal, professional standards and ethics, conservation on a shoe-string budget, and the many resources available for collections preservation.

Who Should Attend:

This workshop is targeted to new professionals and dedicated volunteers with responsibility for collections.

About the Faculty:

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Samantha Forsko is a Preservation Specialist at the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts.

 

 

 

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Bethany L. Hawkins is the Chief of Operations for the American Association for State and Local History.Prior to her work with AASLH, she was the director of a small historic house museum and oversaw all aspects of collections care from accessioning to cleaning to protecting from the raccoons. She has been at AASLH for ten years.

 

Register

Online Course: Basics of Archives

The newly revised Basics of Archives online course is designed to give organizations and individuals who are responsible for the care of historical records an introduction to the core aspects of managing and protecting historical records collections, using appropriate principles and best practices.

Register

Details:

May 22-June 23, 2017

15-20 hours to be completed anytime during the above dates

Cost: $85 members/$160 nonmembers

Register

Full Online Course Description:

The newly revised Basics of Archives online course is designed to give organizations and individuals who are responsible for the care of historical records an introduction to the core aspects of managing and protecting historical records collections, using appropriate principles and best practices.

The course consists of five lessons:

  • Archives and Archivists
  • Acquiring Your Collections
  • Processing Collections
  • Housing Your Collections
  • Access and Outreach

The course is web-based and takes 15-20 hours to complete. There are no required times to be online. You may finish the course anytime during the four-week course period.

Who Should Take This Course:

This course is a beginning level course designed for professional staff and volunteers of historical organizations and libraries with historical collections who have little to no experience with archival materials.

Register

About the Instructor: 

Charles Arp is the Enterprise Content Manager-IT at the Battelle Memorial Institute. Previously, he worked for the Ohio Historical Society for thirteen years, ultimately becoming Ohio's State Archivist. Charlie has a BA and MA in history from Ohio University.

Register