Medium 9781442267541

Collections Vol 1 N3

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"Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals" is a multi-disciplinary peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the discussion of all aspects of handling, preserving, researching, and organizing collections. Curators, archivists, collections managers, preparators, registrars, educators, students, and others contribute.

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5 Articles

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Opinion

ePub

Cary Majewicz

Collections Assistant, Judah L. Magnes Museum, 2911 Russell Street, Berkeley, CA 94705 (carymaje@comcast.net).

Registrars and collections managers are the museum profession’s multi-taskers. These dedicated professionals have lengthy lists of duties including everything from dealing with loans to packing and storing objects to disaster planning to setting up security systems. In some cases, another task is sometimes shouldered by these individuals: managing institutional records and archives—which is where some registrars and collections managers draw the line. After all, archival science is a specialized profession with its own terminologies, practices, standards, professional societies, and educational programs. Most professionals from museums and archives agree that professionally trained archivists should manage museum archives. The reality is that most museums, especially small museums, often do not have the means to hire trained archivists; therefore, they ask (or assume) that their collection personnel take on this role.

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Improving Collection Maintenance Through Innovation: Bar-Code Labeling to Track Specimens in the Processing Stream

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Gábor R. Rácz and William L. Gannon

Division of Mammalogy, Museum of Southwestern Biology and Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131 (raczg@unm.edu;wgannon@unm.edu).

AbstractIn the 1980’s, bar-code labeling (computer readable symbols) and database management systems (DBMS) were adopted to manage inventory and sales for commercial businesses. The advantages of bar-code labels allowed these new DBMSs to be universally accepted. The use of bar codes or other tracking systems is equally advantageous for managing natural history collection specimens, and several museums implemented or are planning to adopt computerized tracking and inventory systems. Here we review the use of bar-code systems by natural history collections and provide a model for adopting computer-tracking abilities. For those collections that are planning to use a tracking system, we review the advantages and challenges that collection personnel have encountered in their use of bar codes. Due to the rapid nature of technological developments, our main goal is to provide guidelines to consider when employing the technology in natural history collections, especially tracking systems as represented by bar-code labeling.

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Digital Futures II: Museum Collections, Documentation, and Shifting Knowledge Paradigms

ePub

Fiona Cameron

Research Fellow, History, School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry, University of Sydney, New South Wales 2006, Australia (fiona.cameron@arts.usyd.edu.au).

AbstractDocumentation forms the basis in which museum collections are ascribed meaning. Practices, many of which are rooted in nineteenth century empiricist modes of thinking, have not been revised at the speed that ideological, practical, and technological transformations are taking place in other areas of museum practice. At this point an opportunity exists for radical changes not only in the manner objects are documented, but also the way they are perceived as forms of evidence. This article, drawing on the findings of the Knowledge Objects project and the writing of leading museum theorists, and historians revisits the acquisition and documentation process. It proposes the incorporation of new principles, practices, and structures that acknowledge objects as polysemic entities—as holding multiple meanings; the meaning of narratives and classificatory systems as products of cultural, disciplinary, museum, and curatorial opinion; the role of a diverse range of users in the cycle of knowledge making and the responsibilities of curators and collection managers as knowledge experts and brokers.

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Lydia Sada de González: A Collector in an Emerging Monterrey Art Scene

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María de Jesus González

Assistant Professor of Art History, Art Department, University of Central Florida, P.O. Box 161342, Orlando, FL 32816-1342 (mdgonzal@mail.ucfedu).

AbstractLydia Sada de González is a key figure in the cultural development of one of Mexico’s most important industrial cities, Monterrey. Following the footsteps of her parents, she continues a family tradition as a patron and collector of art in Mexico. The result is an impressive art collection of colonial Mexican art that not only gives witness to her love of art but more importantly points to the significant contributions she has made to the history the of art. Both as a patron and as a collector, Mrs. Sada de González distinguishes herself as an active and vigorous participant in Mexico’s art world. Mrs. Sada de González has received recognition in Mexico for her contributions to the world of art. Her involvement in the arts has directed and many times redirected the vision of the spectators in and outside of Mexico. Many pieces of her collections have traveled around the world in various exhibitions. In addition, she also has written several articles on her collections and has been a contributing editor of several important publications and thus has made an enormous contribution to the scholarship in the field of Mexican colonial art. This discussion presents a biographical sketch of Lydia Sada de González, examines the history of her interest in collecting, and introduces some of her most significant collections. Through careful consideration of the work she has done as a patron of the arts, it is clear that Lydia Sada de González plays a significant role in the development of the cultural maturity in the city of Monterrey, in Mexico, and in the international art world.

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Assessing Collection Resources and Preservation Issues in Argentinean Museums: A Model Survey and Evaluation of New World Primate Collections

ePub

R. A. Martinez1,2, M. Alvarez3, M. S. Ascunce1,4, I. Avilai1,5, and M. Mudry1

1 Grupo de Investigación en Biología Evolutiva (GIBE), Department of Genetics, Ecology and Evolution, 4th Floor, Pab. II, School of Exact and Natural Sciences, University of Buenos Aires, Ciudad Universitaria Nuñez (1428), Buenos Aires, Argentina (Mudry: mmudry@bg. fcen.uba.ar); 2 current address: Grupo de Pesquisa em Animais Silvestres, UESC, Rodovia Ilhéus-Itabuna, Km. 16, Salobrinho, Ilhéus, Bahia, Brazil (Martinez: cebus@yahoo.com); 3DCB-UESC, Rodovia Ilhéus-Itabuna, Km. 16, Salobrinho, Ilheus, Bahia, Brazil (Alvarez: malva@uesc.br); 4 BEECS Genetic Analysis Laboratory (ICBR), University of Florida, 421 Carr Hall, Gainesville, FL 32611-8525, USA (Ascunce: msascunce@ufl.edu); 5 Laboratorio de Zoología, Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Asunción, Campus Universitario, San Lorenzo, Paraguay (Avila: iavila@highway.com.py).

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