Workshop: Collections Camp: Military Collections

Do you have military artifacts in your museum collection? This two-and-a-half-day workshop will focus on the care, conservation, and exhibition of military artifacts in museum collections. Spend time working with conservators and curators to learn how to be better stewards of your military history collection.

Outcomes

As a result of this workshop, participants should:

  • Have a general knowledge of the basic types of military artifacts common in American museum collections;
  • Have a general knowledge of the particular needs of military collections including proper identification, handling, and basic conservation;
  • Be familiar with some of the current issues and trends in the preservation of military artifact collections;
  • Be able to ensure the safety of visitors, staff, and artifacts when exhibiting or storing military items;
  • Explore the variety of issues related to exhibiting and storing military history collections;
  • Be familiar with simple conservation procedures that are safe to perform on their military history collections;
  • Be aware of when they should call a professional conservator for problems with their military history collections;
  • Recognize the importance of military collections in American museums.

Details

FORMAT: On-site group workshop

LENGTH: Two and a half days

DATE: July 10-12, 2019

LOCATION: Washington State Historical Society, Tacoma, WA

MATERIALS: Workshop materials will be provided upon registration and in-person at the event.

COST: $300 AASLH members/$425 nonmembers

** Save $40 when you register by June 7, 2019 and use promo code EARLYBIRD19 at checkout! **

REGISTER HERE

Who Should Attend This Workshop

This workshop is intended for museum staff and volunteers who work in any type of museum that holds collections of a military nature.

About the Faculty:

Gordon Blaker is the Director of the US Army Artillery Museum in Fort Sill, OK.

Myers Brown is Director of Archival Technical Services at the Tennessee State Library and Archives in Nashville, TN.


Managing Military Collections in Your Museum

So you work in a small county museum or perhaps even a large institution.

A donor walks in and hands you a uniform and says, “my grandpa wore that in the Civil War.” Your knowledge of collections care and management is outstanding, but you have no idea whether the item the donor has includes the correct provenance, is a fake, or is perhaps from a different conflict, or maybe even from a different nation all together.

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Where do you turn for help? What determinations about this historic military textile can you make on your own? What details about the garment can help you either prove or disprove the provenance?

Another donor walks into your institution with a photograph of what appears to be soldiers. Your donor knows nothing about the image. How can you begin to determine the time frame of the image or even the nationality?

Back in the 1950s your institution collected everything they could acquire including what appear to be cannon balls, grenades, and firearms. Are they safe? Are they still live? Are the weapons loaded?

AASLH has many resources for dealing with military artifacts, including:

If you have faced any of these challenges or anticipate that you will, then AASLH can offer help. The best way to begin to understand the nature of military collections and the details unique to military artifacts is to attend the AASLH Military Collections Camp in Oklahoma City in June. We will explore these topics and many, many more issues related to military collections. The camp is not only a learning opportunity it is also packed with fun.

Myers Brown is an Archivist III in the Archives Development Program at the Tennessee State Library and Archives. He also is on the faculty for the AASLH Collections Camp: Military History workshop.