I am preparing to interview for a new position at work, and it will be a change of pace for me from one type of museum work (education) to another (collections). The work shares many attributes, but there are definitely some skills and terminology that I haven’t used day to day in about 7 years that I needed to brush up on, which led me back to my books from graduate school, this one in particular.
Museums, and their running, is a web of crazy. There isn’t a better way to describe it to people on the outside. You’d think everything would be orderly and put together, but there is never enough time, never enough staff, and certainly never enough resources. The department that I am trying to get into? It has 3 people taking care of tens of thousands of objects of all manner. A large component of the work is going back and fixing mistakes and oversights of the past and attempting to get things into one understandable system, best we can.
Which leads me to this book, it is all about what the typical problems of the past are, and ways in which to fix them and prevent them moving forward. It was perfect for my needs, but less than satisfactory in its presentation. While I know most problems stem from two basic points (lack of clear documentation being foremost), it did not prevent the book, at a relatively short 150 pages from being very repetitive and a slog to get through. Which, is as I remember it from my last go around.
This book is useful for us in the field, but of no interest or use to those of you outside of it.