In 2023 RCWR supported a basketry rehousing project at the Bowers Museum! Eleven RCWR members rehoused 231 artifacts over the day, removing degraded plastic bags previously used for storage, instantly improving their collections storage and accessibility.
Our second project in 2022 was at the Five Oaks Museum. Tackling inventory projects is always challenging, more so when your collection includes ‘curio tables’, or former small displays that were never taken apart. Registrars descended upon the museum and assisted with inventorying and rehousing objects – processing over 250 objects alongside museum staff and volunteers!
In 2022, RCWR supported two CSI:Registrars projects. At the Clackamas County Historical Society our team scanned over 200 negatives and rehoused over 1000, kickstarting a digitization project for the organization with the loan of scanning equipment from Northwest Digital Heritage. The Enterprise Courier negative collection shares important regional stories, and will be an incredible digital resource at the project’s end!
In 2021, CSI: Registrars responded to a disaster. The Gresham History Museum, faced with an arson incident, needed help to condition report objects that were damaged by the fire (and associated water). In two hours, we virtually condition reported and improved cataloging for 85 damaged items. While we couldn’t restore damage, we were able to help the museum better understand the state of its collection after the incident.
The pandemic did not stop us from a successful CSI:Registrars in 2020! Working with the Oregon Historical Society, we virtually cataloged 368 political pins from a large collection that never had item-level processing. Working from photographs, registrars described the physical attributes and overall condition of the pins.
For this year’s CSI:Registrars, we helped process 213 objects from the Chinese American collection at the Idaho State Museum. These artifacts included items such as medicine bottles less than 2″ in length, hair combs, ornamental items, musical instruments, and lots of chopsticks. Artifacts were cleaned, labelled, measured, and condition reported, before being photographed and rehoused.
In 2018, CSI:Registrars helped in rehousing delicate artworks with the Museum of Glass. This project rehoused 10 complete shelves and 41 individual pieces in new archival housing, made using Ethafoam and Nomex.
For 2017, CSI:Registrars worked on cataloguing a donation of a toy train set at the Strathcona County Museum and Archives. This included all the condition reporting, photographing, numbering, and data entry. We also gave them tips on how to properly care for artifacts and received a tour of the Museum.
This year’s CSI:Registrars helped with cataloging, condition reporting, and packing ceramics and some paintings for the Mesa Contemporary Art Museum. They also helped them assess their storage areas and figure out ways they might be able to rearrange it to accommodate new objects.
CSI: Registrars was held at the Lick Observatory on the summit of Mount Hamilton just outside San Jose. Working with the Lick Observatory Historical Collections Project, we rehoused and cataloged a collection of extraordinary photographic glass plates. The plates are a series of the finest early wide-field photographs of the Milky Way dating back to the mid 1890s.
CSI: Registrars helped the Boulder City/Hoover Dam Museum inventory and rehouse their boxed storage. The museum had 269 banker boxes that needed to be inventoried, conditioned and rehoused with archival materials. The items ranged from late 1800s Colorado River history items to modern Boulder City ephemera. The goal of the day was to get a running start on this project and establish a protocol so museum staff and volunteers could finish the project. A quick excursion to the Hoover Dam rounded out the productive day.
Seven CSI: Registrar volunteers worked with two staff from Murray: Bunny Ankeny and Mary Ann Kirk, alongside twelve Murray volunteers to learn how to write a condition report, pad out textiles, learn about how to create barriers between objects in exhibitions, and when to remove objects from exhibit.
CSI: Registrar volunteers conditioned, cleaned and rehoused Navajo rugs that had been previously frozen to kill pests. The team was a great help to the two person staff of Cabot’s Pueblo Museum who could not have done so much work in so little time. The volunteers also taught the staff, Ginger Ridgeway and Peggy Pourtemour, how to take care of the remaining rugs.
The 2011 Collections Services Initiative was held at Queen Emma Summer Palace, September 22, 2011 with eleven volunteers. A physical inventory was completed for the entire collection of artifacts on exhibit in the seven restored period rooms. Additional work included placing Mylar between decorative objects and furniture and on photographing and re-housing fragile textiles.
This successful project focused on inventory and re-housing textiles. Eight volunteer collections professionals worked with the collection, guided by collections manager Patricia Larkin and assisted by Jacqueline and Allyson.
Eleven volunteers worked for the day at the San Diego Air and Space Museum at Balboa Park on a range of projects, including inventory, cleaning, and general condition notes. It provided a great opportunity for professionals to network and a chance for people to work in collections outside of their usual area. She has ideas for how next year’s process might be updates, including an application process by the possible museums with clearly defined projects for maximum effectiveness of the time.
Pre-conference workshop: Storage Stories: Creating New Spaces at the Oakland Museum of California Off-Site Storage and the Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology Off-Site Storage.
The Helping Hands/White Glove Brigade was held at the Idaho Military History Museum. Fifteen volunteer collections professionals conditioned, packed and catalogued military uniforms.