Cutorial Committee

This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Becca DuBey 3 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #131736

    Dorothy Pope
    Participant

    All right community, here’s one for you. Our boarad recently voted to do away with the position of curator and instead have a ‘cutorial committee’ which, by the way, consists of three people none of whom can spell ‘curator’ much less have any clue about what a curator does and/or collection management. Obviously we hope to have this reversed but my question is, should that not happen, where do we go from here? This move places the collection in danger in every way one can imagine and seems to me to betray the public trust placed in us as a museum. Any ideas?

  • #131741

    Becca DuBey
    Member

    Can you tell us a little more about the role of this curatorial committee and what it will mean to your position? Are they acting as the Registrar? Will they be cataloging the collections, past and present? Or are they taking over the role of approving new donations? I hope it is the latter… keep in touch!

  • #131740

    Dorothy Pope
    Participant

    There is no outline for what this “committee” is to do; the board has eliminated the position of curator and this committee is supposed to share the responsibilities of curator. The proposed committee does not know anything about cataloging, registration or even what criteria we use for accepting donations. The sole purpose was to eliminate the position of curator because maintaining museum standards and good practices interferes with what they want to do. Hard to believe but true.

  • #131739

    Becca DuBey
    Member

    Then my suggestion is to present them with copies of Museum Registration Methods, A Legal Primer for Museum Collections, and any other reference materials that you think would help them, all of your Policy and Procedure records, a list of policies that need to be written and those in progress, the manual for your cataloging program, and a friendly little note that they will need all the information contained therein, to accomplish everything you, as Curator, have been doing. I would also include all of your educational qualifications and experience, a little line of encouragement (It has taken me ___ years to understand the intricate details of Accessioning and Cataloging, and I know you as a committee may not learn it overnight, but I am always here to lend a helping hand! It is quite a detailed and methodical process, required by every museum, no matter what size, just like any other business requirement.) I hope you and maybe other members can convince them to re-examine their decision. Sometimes a member’s letter to a newspaper editorial column can help raise awareness.

  • #131738

    Becca: You adroitly address building a relationship with the new committee, and helping them to understand the responsibilities of curating. Thank you for posting.

  • #131737

    Rebecca Elder
    Participant

    Also, has your museum considered participating in the AASLH StEPS program? (http://tools.aaslh.org/steps/)? Obviously it’s not a small undertaking, but it’s an excellent way to address all areas of museum practice and train board members with little understanding of the nuts and bolts of what museums actually do, on what the best practices are. I recommend it highly, and it sounds like it might be useful for your situation.

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