December 20, 2020
Northern States Conservation Center

Collections Caretaker eNewsletter
Welcoming 2021 with Hope
Welcome to the Collections Caretaker e-Newsletter from Northern States Conservation Center. the newsletter is designed to bring you content that is pertinent to situations we all encounter in our museum and archives work. Feel free to let us know what topics you would like to see featured in Collections Caretaker or even contribute and article.
In this Issue

Saying Goodbye to 2020 and Welcoming 2021 with Hope
January Courses
February Courses
March Courses
Featured Courses
Conferences and Meetings
Saying Goodbye to 2020 and Welcoming 2021 with Hope
By Peggy Schaller
As 2020 comes to a close we can look back at all the challenges that we faced--those we met head on and conquered and those that were out of our control--and we can look ahead to 2021 and see a light at the end of the tunnel that is NOT an oncoming train. That light is HOPE. Hope that comes from vaccines for Covid 19; hope that, with the vaccines, infections and deaths finally go down instead of up; and hope that we can find a new normal for ourselves, our museums and our world.

As Museums again work towards opening back up for visitors, there are a couple of new resources that might be of interest and helpful for that process. 

"As libraries and museums around the country begin to resume operations and reopen to the public, the need for clear information to support the handling of core museum, library, and archival materials has become increasingly urgent.

REopening Archives, Libraries and Museums (REALM) is a research partnership between OCLC, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Battelle to create and distribute science-based information and recommended practices designed to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 to staff and visitors who are engaging in the delivery or use of museum, library, and archival services." (excerpt from the IMLS website)

Details on some of the project's findings can be found on the News Releases Page


For other Webinars from Cuseum see their website.

Northern States Conservation Center grieves with all those who have lost loved ones to the pandemic. We hold out hope for a better 2021 and want to wish everyone a happy and safe Holiday Season. Be vigilant and protect yourselves against Covid 19 with masks, social distancing, and hand washing. Be safe and stay well!
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Peggy Schaller became Publications Manager at Northern States Conservation Center in 2012; Certificate Program Coordinator in early 2013; and Newsletter Editor for the Collection Caretaker e-newsletter in the fall of 2013. In 2014 she was asked to become the course monitor for all the online courses offered by Museum Classes Online and has been known to lurk in the background of various class chats. She has been an instructor for Museums Classes Online since 2004 teaching collection management courses.
Featured Course:
The Volunteer Handbook
Volunteers should be considered unpaid staff and, like a staff handbook, a strong volunteer organization should have a volunteer handbook. This course goes beyond understanding various aspects of a volunteer program to putting the volunteer program to paper. Create an outline and some draft text for a handbook providing consistency within the volunteers as well a legal support if ever needed.
_________________________
Thinking about starting a Volunteer Program? Already have one, but need more structure to the program? This course will help you create a Volunteer Handbook to help keep your program on track. Join Karin Hostetter for MS269 The Volunteer Handbook starting January 4, 2021
Featured Course:
Exhibit Rehab: Breathing New Life Into Old Exhibits
Creating or contracting for new exhibits is often hugely expensive. But if you have a small museum, visitor center or interpretive center you may not have the budget to create new exhibits. This course on exhibit rehab will help you evaluate the effectiveness of your current exhibits and provide a strategy for breathing new life into exhibits on life support – with a small budget but lots of creativity.
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Do you have old exhibits that really need to be updated? Join John Veverka for MS272 Exhibit Rehab: Breathing New Life Into Old Exhibits
starting January 4, 2021 and get some tips for making the old exhibits new again.
Early Bird Discounts Available for Full Length Courses
 
An Early Bird Discount is available for anyone who signs up for a full length course from museumclasses.org 30 days prior to the start of that course. 
 
Sign up for a full length course up to 30 days prior to its start and save $100.00!
 
For our course list or to sign up: http://www.collectioncare.org/course-list
 
To take advantage of this discount, you must enter coupon code EARLYBIRD at checkout at collectioncare.org
January Courses
 
January 4 to February 12, 2021
Instructor: Karin Hostetter
Description:
Volunteers should be considered unpaid staff and, like a staff handbook, a strong volunteer organization should have a volunteer handbook. This course goes beyond understanding various aspects of a volunteer program to putting the volunteer program to paper. Create an outline and some draft text for a handbook providing consistency within the volunteers as well a legal support if ever needed.
 
January 4 to 29, 2021
Instructor: John Veverka
Description:
Creating or contracting for new exhibits is often hugely expensive. But if you have a small museum, visitor center or interpretive center you may not have the budget to create new exhibits. This course on exhibit rehab will help you evaluate the effectiveness of your current exhibits and provide a strategy for breathing new life into exhibits on life support – with a small budget but lots of creativity.
 
February Courses
 
February 1 to 26, 2021
Instructor: Kimberly Kenney
Description:
The United States has more than 17,000 museums, we can only guess at the world's total. While most people think of a museum as a well-staffed, professionally run institution, the vast majority of museums are started and run by people with little or no basic training in museum studies or preservation. Introduction to Museums is designed to change that. The course introduces basic concepts, terminology and the role of various staff members, including curators, registrars and directors. Introduction to Museums is aimed at staff members, board members, interns, volunteers, as well as anyone interested in becoming a museum professional or learning more about the profession.
  
February 1 to March 5, 2021
Instructor: Laura Elliff Cruz
Description:
Every museum professional needs a solid foundation in preservation principles and techniques. Introduction to Collections Preservation provides an overview of current preservation issues from environmental monitoring to collection cleaning, exhibit mounts and storage furniture. Participants learn about every aspect of the modern museum and how the building, staff and fixtures affect preservation. Subjects include the agents of deterioration, risk management, object handling and transport, object labeling, exhibit lighting, security, emergency preparedness, materials for storage and display, storage and exhibit philosophies, and condition assessments.
 
March Courses
 
March 1 to April 2, 2021
Instructor: Peggy Schaller
Description:
Collections management is a critical component of running a museum. Most museums have collections and these collections drive the public functions and activities of the institution. Collections management is the physical and intellectual management of these items. In this course we will examine how information is collected and recorded for each object brought into the collection - a process called registration. We will also examine the policies that govern what is brought into the collection, including the most important piece of institutional policy--the museum mission statement. These policies are assembled into the collections management 'bible'--the registration manual. At the end of this course you should have a clear understanding of how and why collections are documented in museums and the governing principles that drive daily museum activities.
 
 
March 1 to 26, 2021
Instructor: Karin Hostetter
Description:
Volunteers are essential for most non-profit institutions. But good volunteers aren't born -- they are made. Even though they don't get paychecks, it takes time and money to have effective volunteers. Fundamentals of Museum Volunteer Programs teaches the basics of a strong volunteer program. Topics include recruiting, training and rewarding volunteers, as well as preparing staff. Instruction continues through firing and liabilities. Participants will end up with sound foundational knowledge for starting a new or strengthening an existing volunteer program based on a nine-step process.
 
March 1 to 26, 2021
Instructor: Diana Komejan
Description:
The seasonal closure of a museum presents unique challenges and opportunities for collection preservation. This is an introductory-level conservation course exploring simple collection preservation methods for seasonal museums. The target Audience for the course is curators and other museum personnel, volunteers, site managers, maintenance personnel. No prior conservation training necessary. Participants will learn about the challenges and opportunities associated with caring for collections in seasonal facilities. They will learn about the risks to collections and how to mitigate them through closing and re-opening procedures, as well as throughout the winter season.
 
March 1 to April 9, 2021
Instructor: Tom Bennett
Description:
Sprucing up your exhibits with safe, effective, inexpensive mounts can be easier and more fun than you thought. With a few tools, good technique and a bit of practice, you will be well on the way to presenting your objects in their most interesting light, with an eye on long-term safety and security. Design and Construction of Exhibit Mounts presents the basics of mountmaking for the small to medium-sized museum including tools, techniques and materials. Be prepared to construct mounts during the course. Students will be sent a list of materials and tools to acquire before the course commences. Come along and exercise your creative side while doing the collection a world of good.
 
 
March 1 to 26, 2021
Instructor: John Veverka
Description:
A visitor-centered course on how to increase your visitor program participation numbers (attendance) in interpretive programs and experiences. John Veverka researched why visitors select and attend interpretive programs for 2 years while working as a seasonal naturalist with Ohio State Parks and completing his MS in interpretation from the Ohio State University. The results of this research was groundbreaking for program planning. Employing research results increased program attendance the following year by over 30%. This course teaches how to do your own research into what motivates your visitors. The results may help you increase your visitor numbers and their satisfaction with the experience you offered.
Covid-19 Resources

Many organizations have put together information on resources for Museums and Covid-19. Here are a few links to those Resources. Check back with these organizations for updates.


Use the drop-down menu in the upper right to find Webinars, Virtual tours and more



Conferences and Meetings
2021
Archaeological Institute of America/Society for Classical Studies, Virtual
January 5-10, 2021
 
Society for Historical Archaeology, Virtual
January 6-9, 2021
 
California Association of Museums, Monterey, CA
March 15-17, 2021
 
Texas Association of Museums, San Antonio, TX
April 10-13, 2021
 
Museums Association New York, Corning, NY
April 10-13, 2021
 
American Alliance of Museums
Virtual Meeting: May 24 and June 7-9, 2021
Chicago, IL: May 9-12, 2021
 
Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections, Jacksonville, FL
May 11-15, 2021
 
Association of Academic Museums and Galleries, Virtual
June 7-11, 2021
 
Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums, Archbold, OH
June 11-14, 2021

Association of Midwest Museums, Milwaukee, WI
July 2021

Society of American Archivists, Anaheim, CA
July 31 - August 7, 2021

Mountain-Plains Museums Association, Sioux Falls, SD
October 5-8, 2021

Oklahoma Museums Association, Shawnee, OK
September 15-17, 2021
American Association of State and Local History, Little Rock, AR
September 22-25, 2021    Virtual and Live

Southeastern Museums Conference, Chattanooga, TN
October 25 - 27, 2021

New England Museum Association, Newport, RI
November 17-19, 2021

National Association for Interpretation, Palm Springs, CA
November 3-December 4, 2021

Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums, Wilmington, DE
October 14-16-2021

2022
American Alliance of Museums, Boston MA
May 19-22, 2022

Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums, Tacoma, WA
June 23-28, 2022

Society of American Archivists, Boston, MA
August 20-27, 2022

Oklahoma Museums Association, Enid, OK
September 14-16, 2022

National Association for Interpretation, Cleveland, OH
November 29-Decemver 3, 2022

2023
American Alliance of Museums, Denver, CO
May 19-22, 2023

Society of American Archivists, Washington, DC
July 22-29, 2023
Submissions and Comments
How to submit an article or upcoming workshops for inclusion in the Newsletter: 
If you would like to submit an article, notice of an organizational meeting or upcoming workshop for an upcoming Collections Caretaker Newsletter, send your submission to peggy@collectioncare.org
 
We are always looking for contributions to this newsletter. Submission deadline is the 10th of each month. 
 
Have a comment or suggestion?  
 
Northern States Conservation Center (NSCC) provides training, collection care, preservation and conservation treatment services. NSCC offers online museum studies classes at museumclasses.org in Collections Management & Care, Museum Administration & Management, Exhibit Practices and Museum Facilities Management.
 
Sincerely,
Helen Alten, Director
Peggy Schaller, Publications Manager