CSI: Registrars

Each year, in conjunction with the Western Museums Association Annual Meeting, RC-WR organizes its members to volunteer their professional skills at one of the museums near where the meeting is being held.

This all-day event is known as “CSI: Registrars” (short for Collections Services Initiative).

We tend to volunteer at smaller museums, to help them catch up on projects such as: accessioning, cataloging, condition reporting, rehousing objects or any other work that would benefit from the help of trained professionals. See some of our past projects.

2022 CSI: Registrars Project:

Did you join us for our virtual CSI: Registrars (Collections Services Initiative) events the past two years? We hope you did! Last year, we condition reported and improved cataloging for 85 items damaged by a fire incident at the Gresham History Museum. In 2020, we cataloged 368 political pins for the Oregon Historical Society. Now it is your institution’s turn to benefit from our collections community this spring!

In anticipation of an in-person CSI: Registrars project this October at WMA, we’ve decided to add a second CSI event this spring to support a virtual project and a museum anywhere in our western region! If your museum has a large project that could be accomplished virtually, and that would benefit from the help of experienced museum professionals as volunteers, we want to hear from you!

For the past two years, we have shown that working from photographs, over Zoom, and in Google Sheets, registrars are still registrars: the best at describing museum objects. Thanks to careful pre-planning, a relatively small amount of work on the host museum’s side has made a huge difference in their overall collections care. RCWR even has dedicated funds to support your project, so let’s keep it going…

Some examples of projects that can be completed virtually are:

· Visual condition reporting using images

· Writing object descriptions using images

· Transcription of scanned printed materials or written materials like letters, etc.

· Transcription of time-based media, oral histories, etc.

· Anything you can think of, as long as it helps your museum’s collection and can be conducted remotely!

In order for your museum to qualify for this service initiative, you must:

  1. Be an RC-WR Member (you can even sign up now!)
  2. Your institution must be located within our 9-state jurisdiction (Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawai’i, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, or Washington)
  3. You and your team should be available to host this event on a day in late March/early April

If you’d like to express interest in this project, even if you don’t have all the details yet, PLEASE EMAIL [email protected]!!

Deadline to express interest in this initiative for your museum is Sunday, March 13th 2022!


If you have an idea for a CSI project or work at a museum that could use our help, tell us about it.