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  • 1.  Maintaining Tactile Exhibitions

    Posted 27 days ago


    I am looking to curate an exhibit designed to include visitors by allowing them to try on gear used in anthropometric testing (jackets, helmets, etc). How does one go about maintaining an exhibit like this? Both in the overall security of the objects (staying within the exhibit space) and the preservation of the equipment itself?


    Gracelyn Casas

    Gracelyn Casas
    Museum Specialist
    Patuxent River Naval Air Museum
    Lexington Park MD

  • 2.  RE: Maintaining Tactile Exhibitions

    Posted 26 days ago

    You'll want to buy several extras, so that you can quickly trade out if one becomes too dirty or damaged to continue using.  You could try to secure with a long cord or tether, giving people enough slack that they can maneuver it and use it as you intend, but also stay put.

    If your audience is primarily adults vs kids, you  may have an easier time

    Kaitlin Lloyd-Leva
    Head of School Programs
    Bullock Texas State History Museum
    Austin TX

  • 3.  RE: Maintaining Tactile Exhibitions

    Posted 24 days ago



    We have football equipment for guests to touch and try on. A few of them are tethered or attached to a security device of some kind. However, the tether devices often wear down and are difficult to use.


    I find its best to have a docent or a guest services representative stationed with tactile props. Our docents are volunteers who enjoy interacting and engaging with the guests. Generally, the public is more respectful of items that are being monitored by a staff person or a volunteer. Our volunteers enjoy the engagement.


    All the best,




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  • 4.  RE: Maintaining Tactile Exhibitions

    Posted 24 days ago

    Dear Gracelyn

    That sounds great. I would totally be interested in an exhibit like that. I would think visitors would love it. How often do museum visitors get to touch objects. 


    Rachel Alschuler

    Rachel Alschuler
    Museum Education/ Visitor Experience
    San Francisco CA

  • 5.  RE: Maintaining Tactile Exhibitions

    Posted 24 days ago

    At Chicago Children's Museum, we secure a big tag with our name on it to costumes. We have multiple sizes and some with accessible adaptations, such as shirts/jackets that are open in the back so they easily go on from the front for people in wheelchairs. All costumes are misted daily with a disinfectant (Force of Nature) and laundered at least weekly. 

    Peter Williams
    V.P., Exhibits & Building Opera
    Chicago Children's Museum

  • 6.  RE: Maintaining Tactile Exhibitions

    Posted 24 days ago

    Another reality check if you are considering providing head coverings that children will share wearing/trying on: head lice.


    Any head coverings provided would need to be made from durable enough materials and construction to survive rigorous daily hot water washing with detergent and hot air drying. This washing will be done on-site at the museum, yes? Expecting staff to transport to their own homes and to use their own washer/dryer, power and heated water potentially infested clothing items is also something to be considered.



    .   _  _  _  _  _  _  _   _  _   ___________    

    Margaret E. Geiss-Mooney  


    Textile/Costume Conservator &   

    Collections Care/Management Consultant      


    National Heritage Responder - AIC 

    CAP Assessor



    'Conservator' (sp. Conservador), noun – Professional responsible for safeguarding and making cultural heritage accessible for present and future generations. The work may encompass various types of actions, including collection care, preventive conservation, among others. Source: Dictionary of Museology, Routledge and ICOM, 2023.