Archive for Announcements

Happy 5th Birthday, Registrar Trek!

pic by OpenClipart-Vectors via pixabay (CC0)“After five years you can consider a project as grown-up.” This was more or less how the moderator at the conference of the documentation group of the Deutscher Museumsbund (German Museum Association) phrased it when I gave a talk about our project. In many regards, I think that’s right. But on the other hand, it makes me want to sing with Tom Waits (or with the Ramones, if you prefer that version): “I don’t wanna grow up!” I hope we will never lose the curiosity to try and learn new things and I hope we will never become so serious that there isn’t a place for a good laugh even in our most professional articles.

This year we covered a wide range of very recent aspects of our profession, from rapid response collecting to cataloging smartphone apps. In general, we expanded our range from the classical collection management topics to more aspects of museum documentation. This is a good thing as documentation is the foundation of everything we do. However, because we want to keep our blogging well-rounded, I’m planning to launch a series about “Registrar’s Tools”, where we talk about our favorite tools and toys. You are very welcome to contribute with texts, pictures and thoughts about the tools you like best.

As a project, this year I hope we can attract some new translators. Many who started with us five years ago have now taken up such demanding roles that they can’t contribute anymore. This doesn’t come as a surprise, because people who are willing to volunteer in a project about their profession show exactly the mindset and dedication that is sought after by museums. So, I do hope that we will find new volunteers that fill the blog with the missing translations.

And of course, I hope that many will find the time to sit down and write the story or that article about an aspect of our profession they always wanted to write about. As always, send them to story@museumsprojekte.de

Now, let’s start into this New Year 2018 and may it be a good one!

Angela

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Season’s Greetings!

christmas tree on counter

Our Christmas Tree in the staff’s kitchen: fake tree, LED candles and small enough to fit on the counter so no one bumps into it.

The most difficult season for the registrar comes to an end. All the end of year gifts wrapped up, all the loans returned or loan contracts renewed, all the candles replaced with LEDs (seriously, who ever thought mixing real – and usually dry – twigs of pine and fire is a great idea?), the last database entries updated. Time to raise our glasses.
We know the world “outside” is difficult, perhaps more difficult these days than it ever was during our lifetime. But there is also friendship and collaboration across borders, especially in our profession. That’s something to be grateful for. This year sat colleagues from all across Germany, but also from China and Egypt at our kitchen table in the storage and we could exchange thoughts and insights. Maybe the greatest gift is being able to listen and understand each other, even if there are language hurdles and cultural differences.

On behalf of the whole Registrar Trek Team:

Merry Christmas,
A few calm days off and a
Happy New Year 2018!

Angela

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Mergers & Missions: Moving Forward Together

Collections Stewardship is a newly reorganized professional network of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). The network serves a broad museum community of professionals who advocate for better collections stewardship in museums. Whether your title is Registrar, Collections Manager, Preparator, Collections Technician, or something else, if your interest is collections care, then we’re here for you. Collections Stewardship was formed as the merger of the Registrars Committee (RC-AAM) and the Art Handling, Collections Care, and Preparation Network. The merger and name change was approved by the AAM Board of Directors in March 2017 and announced at the Registrars Committee luncheon during the 2017 AAM Annual Meeting in St. Louis.

First we merge, then we party

First, let’s clear up all of the acronyms.
AAM: American Alliance of Museums
RC or RCAAM: Registrars Committee, AAM
Art Handling: Art Handling, Collections Care, and Preparation Network, AAM
CS: Collections Stewardship, AAM
PACCIN: Preparation, Art Handling, Collections Care Information Network

It may help you to know that these two groups have a history. The Registrars Committee began in 1977 as a professional network of the American Association of Museums. In the 1990s, RCAAM created a task force that in 1997 separated to become the AAM Professional Interest Committee called PACCIN. In 2015, PACCIN became it’s own 501(c)3 and a new AAM Professional Network, the Art Handling, Collections Care, and Preparation Network, was created. It is this PN that merged with the Registrars Committee to become Collections Stewardship.

So why the merger? Changes in AAM’s management of professional networks from 2012 led to a need to reassess the relationship between RC and AAM. A series of discussions about these changes culminated in a roundtable discussion at the Marketplace of Ideas during the 2016 AAM Meeting in Washington, D.C. From this, a task force was formed that resulted in the merger.

So what can you expect from this new (old) group? Collections Stewardship will continue to offer the listserv, service projects, networking opportunities and other popular resources, such as the mentorship program and sample documents (through its website). The Collections Stewardship board will explore cooperative projects with nonprofit organizations of like focus, including Association of Registrars and Collections Specialists (ARCS) and PACCIN.

However, our work is not complete. The current mission of Collections Stewardship is still the original RC 1977 mission, which was designed to define the profession. The newly merged network will revisit the 1977 mission and consider it from many perspectives. We must be inclusive, we must honestly assess where our profession currently finds itself, and we must set sights for the future of the field. This project will need consultation. Before formal adoption, it will be shared with the CS membership for approval. We hope to have the new mission ready and available for distribution long before the 2018 annual conference in Phoenix.

If you have thoughts on the project, and care to make suggestions, please reach out Chair-elect Sebastian Encina at sencina@umich.edu.

We are excited to move forward with this, and are eager to continue making Collections Stewardship work for all of us.

CSAAM Board

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Registrar Trek Stays Mannheim!

picture by domeckopol via pixabay

Mannheim water tower (picture by domeckopol via pixabay)


Whenever a member of the Registrar Trek Team Member is attending a conference or a similar event to spread the word about our blog project we usually post a “Registrar Trek goes… (Costa Rica, Helsinki, Milan)” message. Well, this time I am attending a conference that takes place at “my” museum, so I can stay where I am: The annual fall meeting of the documentation group of the Deutscher Museumsbund (German Museum Association) will take place October 16-18 at the TECHNOSEUM. I’m all exited to do a presentation on the blog and exchange thoughts with all the colleagues.

See the full conference time table here:
http://www.museumsbund.de/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/fg-dokumentation-herbst-2017-vorlaeufiges-programm-online.pdf

Best wishes
Angela

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Happy 4th Birthday, Registrar Trek!

shrubbery2I can’t believe it’s 2017 already! Seems like yesterday that we celebrated the third birthday of our project.

2016 was a strange year after all. For me personally it was highly successful, but in the big picture, it was terrible. Terrorist attacks, wars, conflicts, mockeries of elections,… you name it, we could all have done without that. And then, in our own sector, we saw again budget cuts, museums closing, people poorly paid and people with high creativity and potential been let go. Again, we could have done without that.

So, is there any way to have a positive outlook into this new year?

Yes, there is.

We see that many museums and museum professionals work towards the goal of making museums safe spaces for all. We see more and more museum professionals speak up against things that go wrong in this sector, here, let me mention #MuseumWorkerSpeak as an example. And, we see more and more museum professionals finding the courage to speak up against things that go wrong in their communities and in politics. This gives me hope for the New Year.

Now, when we look at this project Registrar Trek, what does the future hold? My past predictions were all more or less off the mark, as all predictions have a tendency to be. But I do hope, that in the new year we will encourage more contributions in forms and articles and stories from around the world. Too be honest, there was a little bit too much “Angela Kipp” stuff on this blog recently. As much as I like my projects like the book and the logger (a new generation of them were installed just before Christmas for a serious test under real-life conditions), this was never the intention of the blog. So here is my wish for this our fourth birthday:

That many, many of you find the courage to sit down to write an article, an observation, a story or a thought for us.

Read you soon!

Angela

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UPDATE: All Webinars of the Management 101 Series now available on the C2CC Website

A short follow-up to our announcement in September:

Now all recordings of the “Getting a Grip on Collections Management” webinar series are available to listen to on the Connecting to Collections Care website, together with the slides and additional materials for download:

shoes

Webinar 1: Basic Condition Reporting


Deborah Rose Van Horn

Basic Condition Reporting

artifact-morgue_edit

Managing Previously Unmanaged Collections: A Survival Guide for Messes Great and Small


Angela Kipp

Managing Previously Unmanaged Collections: A Survival Guide for Messes Great and Small

files

Webinar 3: There’s a Form for That: Documenting Your Collections


Beverly Balger Sutley

There’s a Form for That: Documenting Your Collections

russian-dolls_edit

Webinar 4: A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place: Conducting (and Maintaining!) a Collection Inventory


Maureen McCormick

A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place: Conducting (and Maintaining!) a Collection Inventory

And there are many, many more helpful and free resources to be discovered in the Connecting to Collections Care Archives: http://www.connectingtocollections.org/archives/

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A shout out to our colleagues in Poland!

Polish flag via pixaby.com

We are delighted to learn that in April this year the Polskie Stowarzyszenie Inwentaryzatorów Muzealnych, Polish Museum Registrars Association, was founded. They have a blog (http://inwentaryzatorzy.blogspot.de/) and already translated two of our articles into Polish:
CIDOC 2016 – W dokumentacji kluczowi są ludzie (“CIDOC 2016 – Documentation is about people” by Angela Kipp) – translated by Marcin Mondzelewski
Rola inwentaryzatora muzealnego w procesie wypożyczania zbiorów (“The Museum Registrar as Loans……” by Derek R. Swallow) – translated by Natalia Ładyka

We wish our Polish colleagues best of luck with their work!

This post is also available in Italian translated by Marzia Loddo.

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Free Webinar Series:
Management 101: Getting a Grip on Collections Management

There’s a great series of free webinars coming up, organized by the Connecting to Collections Care Online Community (http://www.connectingtocollections.org/). The topics are different aspects of collections management, the webinars run always 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (time zone of New York):

shoes

September 15, Webinar 1: Basic Condition Reporting


Deborah Rose Van Horn

Basic Condition Reporting

artifact-morgue_edit

September 22, Webinar 2: Managing Previously Unmanaged Collections: A Survival Guide for Messes Great and Small


Angela Kipp

Managing Previously Unmanaged Collections: A Survival Guide for Messes Great and Small

files

September 29, Webinar 3: There’s a Form for That: Documenting Your Collections


Beverly Balger Sutley

There’s a Form for That: Documenting Your Collections

russian-dolls_edit

October 4, Webinar 4: A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place: Conducting (and Maintaining!) a Collection Inventory


Maureen McCormick

A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place: Conducting (and Maintaining!) a Collection Inventory

You can either register for each individual webinar on the webinar’s page or you can register for all four webinars here (and earn a Credly badge if you attend them all):

Management 101: Getting a Grip on Collections Management

Of course, I feel especially honored to be part of a series where the other sessions are held by people I’ve been looking up to for years.

Hope to ”see“ some of you there!

Angela

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Registrar Trek goes Milano!

Dear Registrar Trekkers,

I’m all excited that I will present a short paper together with Rupert Shepherd from the National Gallery in London at the CIDOC Conference in Milano. It is called ”Spreading the word: Explaining what Museum Documentation is and why it’s important“. We are part of the ”Introduction to Documentation Standards“ session that is scheduled for the 4th of July, 4 to 6 p.m.

photo by hikersbay via pixabay

Duomo di Santa Maria Nascente (photo by hikersbay via pixabay)

At the moment we are finetuning our talk which will be about the importance of initiatives like the hashtag #MuseumDocumentation, this very blog and all other projects who aim to make documentation and collections management more visible for the public and decision makers.

As the CIDOC conference is part of the big ICOM conference it will also be a great opportunity to meet colleagues I haven’t seen in years as well as meeting people I know so far only from the internet. I’m especially excited that I will meet our Italian translator Marzia Loddo in person. 🙂

And of course, I will write a short report on how it’s been when I’m back. Don’t forget to follow the hashtag #CIDOC2016 if you want to know what is going on.

See you in Milano!
Angela

This post is also available in Italian translated by Silvia Telmon.

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Have a great time at ERC 2016 in Vienna, dear colleagues!

As we are close to the opening of the European Registrars Conference in Vienna, I wanted to send a quick reminder that we are glad to post session reports or general reviews and impressions about the conference at Registrar Trek. We already got some volunteers (thank you so much!) but we also have enough web space to post more reports. 🙂

I’m glad to inform you that Else Prüstner from the Steering Committee dropped me a line saying that the organizers are glad to provide information and help for our reporters. The ARC (Austrian Registrars Committee) colleagues who are with the organizing group will be visible at the conference, so just ask them for assistance if you have questions.

Have a wonderful time!
Angela

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