Sorting through the dust : creating an effective inventory in a challenging environment.
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Wilson, Megan K.
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For any museum that has been in existence for a long time, one of the biggest challenges is reviewing the records of early acquisitions to ensure their compliance with current standards. Museum records are crucial to interpretation and preservation efforts, providing information on what the museum has and the story behind why an object was acquired. Thus in an effort to exert better physical and intellectual control over collections, the State Historical Society of North Dakota established an internship project to inventory the contents of an off-site storage facility. To determine how to organize the inventory report, the overarching goals of the project first had to be defined. What was the purpose of the inventory? The goals were as follows: 1.) Identify and process all non-accessioned objects. 2.) Locate all accessioned objects and assess whether these were in need of transfer to another storage facility. 3.) Create an action plan for all exterior objects regarding how they were to be rehoused on the interior. This goal was more involved, because it required the selection of objects on the exterior to be rehoused and those to be considered for deaccession. Second, adequate space within the facility had to be cleared for the introduction of a large number of massive objects. Thus, determinations on deaccession and movement of interior objects were a major component of this goal.