253 Slices
Medium 9781442267558

Editor‘s Foreword

Collections Altamira Press ePub

This last issue of the first volume of Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals contains four articles, one opinion piece, a book review, and two reviews of digitizing projects. The opinion article by Nancy E. Villa Bryk, one of our editorial board members, discusses educational programs at The Henry Ford that use original objects.

S. J. Redman discusses the history of the development of Classical Archaeology collections in American museums using the experience of the Science Museum of Minnesota as an example. He believes that studying such examples allows insights into how museum culture in America has formed.

Because staff members in document collecting and records-oriented repositories regularly find themselves managing items that do not neatly fit into file folders and document boxes, Michele Christian conducted a survey of 10 archives to gather information on their practices and needs in dealing with three-dimensional objects. Based on the results of this survey and its own practices, the University Archives, Iowa State University Library, has instituted methods to manage its ever-growing artifact collection. Issues covered include appraising artifacts, preserving the objects through re-housing in appropriate archival storage, developing techniques for description as well as a database, and providing access to the artifacts.

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Medium 9781442267596

Museums and Copyright: Is Ignorance Really Bliss?

Collections Altamira Press ePub

Blythe Burkhardt and Pamela Trimpe

Burkhardt is JD Candidate, University of Iowa College of Law and Interim Outreach Coordinator University of Iowa International Programs, 1111 University Capitol Centre, Iowa City, IA 52242 (blythe-burkhardt@uiowa.edu) ; Trimpe is Director, The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History and Old Capitol Museum, #21 Old Capitol, Iowa City, IA 52242 (pamela-trimpe@uiowa.edu).

AbstractMuseums face intellectual property issues daily—particularly copyright concerns. While museums may have ownership of a particular work, they often do not know who owns the copyright and what rights that gives them. Copyright owners are given the exclusive rights to reproduce, adapt, distribute, publicly perform, and publicly display their works. U.S. Copyright law, with its origin in the U.S. Constitution, is governed by the Copyright Acts of 1909 and 1976. Under these acts copyright ownership is granted usually to the artist who creates the work, but may be extended to others when specific requirements are met. Iowa artist Grant Wood, founder of the Regionalist Art Movement, can be considered a poster child for copyright issues. The rights in many of his works are policed by a professional intellectual property licensing organization. Here we review three instances where Wood’s work has been at the center of copyright ownership debates, in a public domain question, in a work for hire situation, and in a transfer of copyright ownership. These case studies serve as useful examples for museums confronting their own copyright ownership concerns.

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Medium 9781442267596

Endangered Collections: Legal Obligations for Museums Holding Endangered Species

Collections Altamira Press ePub

Tiffany Adrain

Collections Manager, Paleontology Repository, Department of Geoscience, University of Iowa. Iowa City, IA 52242 (tiffany-adrain@uiowa.edu).

AbstractMany museums, especially those with natural history collections, hold some material that is covered by a multitude of laws concerning endangered species. Determining whether these laws apply to objects in your collections can be quite confusing without specialist knowledge. New acquisitions must be properly documented and accompanied by the relevant permits. A separate permit may be required to hold the material in the collections. Loans of endangered species material require permits for transport between international and sometimes out-of-state institutions. Objects brought into museums by the public for identification may be subject to at least one of several laws that make their possession illegal without a permit. Museums must ensure that endangered species laws are not violated, even accidentally, when accessioning, loaning, exchanging, and transporting applicable material. Special exemptions can be obtained for museum and scientific research collections including import/export permits, re-export certificates, and the CITES Certificate of Scientific Exchange. The aim of these exemptions is to allow research and education access to museum material while protecting endangered plants and animals from illegal trade.

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Medium 9781442267824

Visual Materials in the Research Library The Center for Historic American Visual Culture at the American Antiquarian Society

Collections Altamira Press ePub

The Center for Historic American Visual Culture at the American Antiquarian Society

Georgia B. Barnhill

Former Director, Center for Historic American Visual Culture, American Antiquarian Society, 185 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA 01609; email: gbarnhill@mwa.org

Abstract The success of the Center for Historic American Visual Culture (CHAViC) at the American Antiquarian Society (AAS) is based on a variety of programs that other libraries could imitate in order to exploit collections that for various reasons are not been utilized fully by scholars, teachers, and the general public. In the United States, there are libraries and historical organizations with vast collections of prints and photographs, but few of these visual materials reach the hands of scholars or teachers. CHAViC is a concerted effort by the governing board and senior administration of AAS to find new audiences for visual materials through an improved access to collections; workshops, seminars, and conferences; publications; and a dedicated fellowship program. The overarching goal of CHAViC is to encourage the use of visual materials by historians as evidence, not merely as illustration.1 For our purposes, visual materials should be seen through the lens of history. This essay describes activities that we hope will lead to this outcome.

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Medium 9781442271197

Looking Past the Screen Using Technology to Reconnect with Collections

Collections Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Independent Scholar; anna.m.heineman@gmail.com

Abstract This article looks at the ways in which museums, zoos, and cultural organizations can employ free and available technology—including blogs, databases, smartphone apps, and social media—to encourage people to look past their devices and to connect with each other through collections. Four Internet-based digital platforms are examined: online responses, information sharing, voting, and social media. The case studies demonstrate how technology can encourage connection between individuals and the collections that they have opportunities to view, understand, and curate together.

It is without doubt that technology has helped museums reach past their walls into communities near and far. With so many of us glued to our devices, however, the question can be asked: how can we use technology in museums to foster a connection among and between people? Technology provides active experiences with participants, proving that accessible and innovative means can encourage personal interaction with collections. The technological aspects used in four case studies are: online responses, information sharing, voting, and social media. None of these ideas are novel; they have all been in practice for years. The end goal, however, is not just to have a large web presence. Instead, the technology’s purpose is to have a participant share a memory, walk through museum doors, and, perhaps, interact with one another because of an object or a collection.

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