Museum curators enter the profession with a specialist subject qualification and yet at some point in their career, many curators find themselves in charge of a range of collections outside of their expert knowledge. Interpreting, curating and caring for mixed collections demands of curators a wide range of knowledge and understanding. The Curation and Care of Museum Collections is designed to give curators the fundamental information and confidence they need to manage and care for all of the collections within their responsibility, regardless of their previous training and experience.
Comprising two sections – Museum Collections, and Collection Development and Care – the chapters cover archaeology, art, history, military and natural sciences collections, as well as heritage properties. Every chapter in the book is focused on one type of collection, but all chapters in the collection management section contain advice on topics such as organisational philosophy, documentation, legal issues and materials in order to provide a useful and comprehensive guide to managing collections. The collection care section is structured in the same way, considering the issues of storage; display; handling; moving; packing; housekeeping; health and safety; emergency preparedness; and pest, pollution, environmental, light and vibration management.
The contributors to this book are experienced museum professionals, each with their own specialism and a deep understanding of what it means to work in the context of mixed collections. Providing a highly practical guide, The Curation and Care of Museum Collections is essential reading for curators working in all types of museums, galleries and heritage sites, and for students of museology courses around the world.
List of illustrations
List of contributors
PART I: Museum collections
1 Archaeology collections - Sara L. Wear
2 Art collections - Alison Bevan and Gemma Brace
3 Heritage properties - Emily Price
4 History collections - Alexia M. Clark
5 Military collections - Rachel Adams
6 Natural science collections - Bruce A. Campbell
PART II: Collection development and care
7 Collection development strategy: Potentially everything is useful and interesting - Elizabeth A. Walker and Diane Gwilt
8 Collection care and conservation - Christian Baars