Completed 2017 courses

Join us for the 4 week course Policies for Managing Collections. In this course we will critically examine the purposes and functions of collections management policies, including how collections are defined, acquired, managed, used, maintained, and deaccessioned. The course textbook,Things Great and Small: Collections Management Policies, will be supplemented by a variety of readings and assignments.

Housekeeping in the museum or historic house is a vital activity. Dust building up on an object is not only unsightly, it will also cause damage. An unkempt museum or historic house is not appealing to the visitor nor is it healthy for the staff and collection. Yet cleaning collections can be risky as well.

This course will provide the participants with a foundation as to how to clean objects and facilities safely. We will explore a variety of subjects, including health and safety for the staff and the objects, cleaning methods for a large variety of collection types common in cultural institutions and the importance of documenting what you do. Join us for this four week course.

Join us for the four week course ID & Care of Photographs on Paper. The course will help participants to identify items in their collections by using the characteristics, aging properties, and the clues found in the photographs. When introduced to the photographs, participants will learn their unique properties & how they age. Discussions and images shared in the lessons, assignments and forums, will help build confidence in identification skills. After completion of this course, participants should be able to make better decisions concerning storage materials & proper environments.

Join us for the 4 week course Assessing Risks to Cultural Property 1. Assessing risks to cultural property, including but not limited to Museum, Library, and Archive collections, is becoming a fundamental ability for collection care professionals. This introductory course provides a firm foundation on which to build an understanding of risk-based approaches to cultural property protection. Ideas associated with the terms hazard, risk, deterioration, damage, and loss are clarified. Risks are defined as departures from the goal of shepherding a collection forward in time without it suffering damage or loss. We will explore the importance of comprehensiveness and of clear definitions of risks. Tools are provided and practiced to ensure comprehensive sets of well defined risks can be developed based on agents of change and types of risk.

Participants will develop a useful set of defined type 1 (rare and potentially catastrophic) specific risks relevant to their institution. The potential impact of those risks will be ranked according to estimates of likelihood and impact. This will provide focus in the development of emergency preparedness plans and resources. It will also provide a platform for more effective communication among functional groups within your institution including collection management, registration, conservation, facilities management, security, finance, and possibly others.

Join us for the four week course Introduction to Heritage Interpretation. This is an entry level interpretation course, that reviews the current state-of-the-art in interpretive philosophy, techniques and services, based on "outcome based" interpretation.  The course centers around Tilden's Interpretive Principles, and developing interpretive themes and objectives for any interpretive program, tour, exhibit or service.

Join beginning September 4, 2017 us for the four week course Moving Museum Collections. 

Moving Museum Collections provides a how-to for planning and managing a collection move to avoid the many pitfalls associated with a move project. The course will help you clarify your project, develop a work plan, prepare a communication scheme, define proposals for vendors, organize staffing and establish packing protocols.

Join us November 6, 2017 for the four week course Interpretive Writing. This is a basic interpretive writing course designed to be a follow-up course for the Introduction to Heritage Interpretation course, and future interpretation courses. It will give participants an understanding of and skill in development of actual "interpretive" writing based on Tilden's Interpretive Principles.

Join us for the four week course Collections Care & Management for Archives and Works on Paper. Conservators and Archivists often work together to develop the most successful approaches to care and preservation while allowing access for research and exhibition. Best practices, including practical policies and procedures are key to good archives management and care. This 4 week course will introduce basic professional standards and procedures for archives collections management and recognize the roles of archivists and conservators in the care of archives collections. Topics covered will include collections governance, policies, and procedural guidelines for condition assessments, handling, housing, storage, and use in research.

Join us for the five week course Understanding Photographic & Graphic Arts Materials. This course introduces the various non-paper supports that contain both positive and negative images from the dawn of photography through the 20th C. The need for a stable support led to photographs being made on metal, glass, and cellulose-based & polyester film.

The discovery of mice living (and eating) objects in your collection is a terrifying experience. You are not alone - many of us have had this unpleasant experience. Silverfish will eat your paper materials, moths will eat your woolens and feather objects, mice will gladly nest in anything they can! How can you protect the collection in your care from this very real and very serious threat?

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a holistic approach, using low-toxicity strategies to manage the threat. First developed for the agriculture industry to reduce the use of pesticides, it has become the preferred method of pest control in cultutral institutions. It is more labor intensive than the traditional poison them approach, but it also presents less health risk to staff and collections. A good IPM program will prevent future infestations as well as control current ones.

This course explores the foundation of knowledge needed to solve pest problems in a myriad of situations that might be encountered in cultural institutions. Participants will receive an introduction to IPM, learning how to quantify the actual pest risk. They will learn how to identify pests, develop a monitoring program and assess options to both solve and prevent pest problems in a safe and effective manner. Join us April 4, 2016 for this four week course.