Can behind-the-scenes tours raise awareness and funds for collections care?

Welcome to Connecting to Collections Care Forums Group Forums C2C Community Archives – 2012 through 2014 Can behind-the-scenes tours raise awareness and funds for collections care?

Viewing 7 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #133729

      Over the years, Heritage Preservation has heard of several examples of how behind-the-scenes tours raised public awareness and funds for collections care. Have you done this at your institution? Do you have any tips for others that might be considering it?

    • #133736
      Bronwyn Eves
      Member

      The Illinois State Museum holds at least one behind the scenes tour a year. Recent donors and members are invited. It is a very successful program for getting potential donors to the site as well as a very unique opportunity for recent donors. Many members come back each year and have developed relationships with the staff; this has lead to more donations of artifacts as well as funds. It can also be a great tool for recruiting volunteers when they see the exciting environment they would be working in.

    • #133735
      Leslie Wyman
      Participant

      Bronwyn, do you do these as one-on-one, or by groups as they arrive?

    • #133734

      As a smaller run museum such tours are vital to raising an awareness of what really happens behind the scenes of museum. We give tours and often I get responses of “I remember when you took us behind the scenes” they never forget such a tour. We even had one couple donate to the museum after they had such a visit. So yes it does create more potential for donors and awareness of the work we do for our communities.

    • #133733
      Bronwyn Eves
      Member

      Leslie, The event is held for 3 hours on a weekend. New members and recent donors are mailed a flyer to advertise the event. The ISM staff are asked to be present and set up small displays in their area. Our building is set up in such a way that attendees can wander from room to room easily after signing in. It has always worked well this way and it allows the staff to be available in their area to engage the visitors and not leading tours.

    • #133732
      Leslie Wyman
      Participant

      Wow, it sounds like it would be a great event! I think we definitely need to get started doing something similar. I really like the idea of having people setup for specific areas, as that would keep me from having to “train” all the volunteers/board members on the entire behind-the-scenes setup and let them concentrate on a specific area instead. Thanks!

    • #133731
      Sheri Jordan
      Member

      This might be a great idea for our historic house museum. We have an extensive physical collection which doesn’t often see the light of day because we don’t have the space. But a 3-hour event on a Saturday in the Fall with different objects from our collection highlighted might be a good way to increase awareness of what we are preserving.

    • #133730
      Leslie Wyman
      Participant

      As a historical society, we deal not only with our museum collections, but also with our research library items, and are continually scanning and indexing our ledgers, pictures, etc for the researchers use. One of our volunteers for that area has already signed up to be on duty at a computer, indexing an 1800’s farm journal, as people come up, so she can discuss the process and show them how to look up things!

Viewing 7 reply threads
  • The topic ‘Can behind-the-scenes tours raise awareness and funds for collections care?’ is closed to new replies.