Seldovia Village Tribe, with funding from the Institute of Museum & Library Services, sponsored a Museum Collections Care Workshop February 28 – March 3 in Seward, Alaska. SVT’s Seldovia Museum staff partnered with the Seward Community Library & Museum, which provided the venue and staff assistance.
Thirteen participants from Alaskan museums and cultural institutions representing Cordova, Hope/Sunrise, Kodiak, Palmer, Seldovia, Seward, Talkeetna, and Wasilla received quality instruction from professional museum objects conservator Nicole Peters, currently on contract with the Anchorage Museum. Scott Carrlee, Curator of Museum Services with the Alaska State Museum, was also instrumental in developing the workshop.
Workshop participants learned about the many common types of materials that museum objects are composed of; how these material types interact with the environment; preferred environmental conditions for museum objects; safe handling procedures; basic preventative conservation; the care and cleaning of objects; and creating basic object housing, including supports, trays and boxes; along what materials to avoid and why, and so much more.
A Conservation Roadshow was held on March 2nd for members of the community to consult with museum staff and a conservator about how to care for family treasures and artifacts. Among the items brought in were beaded earrings, a fur and leather Alaskan doll, two commemorative Alaskan flags signed by Benny Benson (by two separate community members!), an artsy shadow box, and a military uniform from the early 1900s.
The workshop provided great networking opportunities for the museums represented, and participants have already begun talking about what the focus of the next workshop should be. Several of the participants, including Seldovia Museum staff, plan to propose a session for the 2017 Museums Alaska conference, teaching some of what they learned to staff from other museums in order to “share the wealth.”
Here’s what we have going on right now. Click on an image to see an expanded version.