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BOOK REVIEW - Museum Registration Methods

If youíre looking for a comprehensive guide to collection management, the standard museum book is Museum Registration Methods edited by Rebecca A. Buck and Jean Allman Gilmore, published by the American Association of Museums.

This collection of informative essays by museum professionals provides sound step-by-step guidance and advice on a wide variety of museum practices.

Donít let the size of the book scare you! At more than 400 pages it can be a bit intimidating at first. But the book is broken down into bite-sized chapters that will address your specific needs.

Sections include:

Documentation

Collections Management

Processes

Administration Functions

Risk Management

Ethical and Legal Issues

Although the book was written with museum registrars in mind, many other professional positions will find this book helpful, including curators, collections managers, exhibition developers, and directors. Since many museum staff members wear multiple hats, chances are over the course of your career you will need to consult this book for advice on something for which you have no training or experience.

Readers will find helpful essays on topics such as numbering, handling, storage, preventive care, inventory, packing and crating, accessioning and deaccessioning, loans, exhibitions, budget, integrated pest management, appraisals, and professional ethics. Sample forms, charts, graphics and photographs illustrate points clearly and effectively.

Each essay contains practical advice and guidance readers can use to perform museum tasks at the highest professional standards. For example, the essay on Marking includes a six page list of specific marking methods for different kinds of artifacts, followed by tables explaining how tags, ties, solvents, writing tools and labels are used.

Museum Registration Methods was first published in 1958. Over the past 50 years, it has been updated and revised five times. The current edition was completely reorganized from the original version and is extremely user-friendly.



The authorís employer purchased a copy of Museum Registration Methods for reference in the curatorial department. She was not compensated in any way for this review.


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