Tips from the National Museum of the American Indian collections move

Rachael Perkins Arenstein, Colleen Brady, Norine Carroll, Jen French, Emily Kaplan, Angela Yvarra McGrew, Ashley McGrew, Scott Merritt, and Leslie Williamson

Abstract

Staff at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) are constantly seeking to streamline techniques to allow for the safe and efficient movement of the more than 800,000 objects in the collection from the old storage and research facility in the Bronx, NY to the new Cultural Resources Center in Suitland, MD. This paper presents an overview of some of these techniques. Included are tips for inventive, functional, and aesthetic supports that can be efficiently mass-produced; quick, minimally interventive stabilization treatments; and packing and rehousing suggestions. These techniques can be accomplished with easily available materials commonly used in conservation laboratories. A list of suppliers is appended.

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