Open Forum

 View Only
  • 1.  Accessioning & Cataloging Question

    Posted 01-03-2019 11:18 AM

    Our audio history museum is essentially a transfer of a corporate museum to our 501c3.  As such it includes the building, artifacts, archives, and library.  I have been accessioning the major/significant artifacts fairly easily.  However, in the bowels of this building are stashes of materials that can only be described as junk to most.  To me they are a gold mine of parts and pieces that will be invaluable in future restorations of "displayable artifacts".  Items include vacuum tubes, electrical components, logos, wiring, "nuts and bolts", "components of components", etc.  There are several dozen boxes of this "junk" that individually would be more than 1000 listings.  I have 2 questions:

    1.       Should I accession these parts into the collection?  and if so,

    2.       Should I catalog the pieces individually or by the box?

    Any insight would be most appreciated.


    Jim Hunter, Curator

    Klipsch Heritage Museum Association, Inc.



  • 2.  RE: Accessioning & Cataloging Question

    Posted 01-04-2019 07:34 AM
    Unusual situation... my advice would be to avoid accessioning parts unless they are UNLIKELY to become a part of an accessioned object in the future ...

    Vivian F. Zoë, Director
    Slater Memorial Museum
    108 Crescent Street, Norwich CT 06360
    860-425-5560 vox
    860-885-0379 fax

    "Inspiration is for amateurs - the rest of us just show up and get to work," Chuck Close, 2003

    Please note:  The information contained in this e-mail and any attachments hereto is intended only for the personal and confidential use of the designated recipients.  If the reader/recipient of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that you have received this e-mail and all attachments hereto in error and that any review, dissemination, distribution or copying of this e-mail or any of its attachments is strictly prohibited.  If you have received this communication in error, please notify the sender immediately by e-mail and destroy the original message received.  Thank You.

  • 3.  RE: Accessioning & Cataloging Question

    Posted 01-04-2019 09:33 AM
    Hello Jim,

    If your intention is to use the boxes of "junk" as materials for repair of other items, I would not accession them.  They are in some sense disposable if they are usable in that way so they are more like a props collection or a hands-on collection.  You may need to create another category of items if you want to track them.  It's great to have those pieces and parts for future repairs, though!


    Lindsey Richardson
    The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza


    Lindsey Richardson  |  Curator of Collections
    The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
    411 Elm Street, Dallas, TX 75202-3308
    Phone: 214.747.6660  |  Direct: 214.389.3061

  • 4.  RE: Accessioning & Cataloging Question

    Posted 01-04-2019 10:32 AM
    Will some bits and parts be used to exhibit as examples of e.g., a vacuum tube type,  or will will they be used to restore a piece of equipment to functioning condition?  Catalogue the objects used as exhibits.   For obsolete equipment supplies, some finding aids would be worth the effort, but they wouldn't be catalogued in the collection.  It would be worth checking with the Smithsonian to conform with finding aids and nomenclature in use for equipment bits boxes like these.   If you don't have a contact person there, I'd start with Collections Management at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.  

    [Christine] [Downing] [Independent Curator]
    Curator, Registrar, research

  • 5.  RE: Accessioning & Cataloging Question

    Posted 01-04-2019 10:39 AM
    While I can't answer your questions, as an old school electronics technician, I find your museum very interesting.

    Bill Browne
    Westlake LA

  • 6.  RE: Accessioning & Cataloging Question

    Posted 01-04-2019 10:44 PM
    I would not accession them, not because there are too many, but because you are then responsible for them as much as anything else in the collection and they would thus not be available to you as "parts". I would inventory them, however so that you do know what you have and where it is stored. (Unless there would be value in accessioning one example of each item, perhaps?)

    Caroline Goldthorpe
    Director, Museum Studies
    Museum Studies Certificate Program - Northwestern University
    Chicago IL

  • 7.  RE: Accessioning & Cataloging Question

    Posted 01-08-2019 08:47 AM
    ​Thanks to all that jumped in here!  This rookie is most appreciative of your seasoned advice.

    Jim Hunter
    Klipsch Heritage Museum Association
    Hope AR

  • 8.  RE: Accessioning & Cataloging Question

    Posted 01-09-2019 09:12 AM
    Hi Jim - I would recommend that they are inventoried and classified as parts and/or props.  Outdated technology can be very cool to look at and as time goes by even more so.  Some parts deemed safe could also be used in a "hands on" exhibit. The Smithsonian, I understand, has a whole department of old audio/video equipment and they continue to collect those items to use as parts and as props.  I would not dispose of anything as you begin the process.  As you work with the collection, it will become clear what should be kept and what is not of value but that may take years!
    All the best.

    Gurufateh Kaur
    The Yogi Bhajan Museum Project
    Santa Cruz NM