Reply to post: Ah - museums

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Marshalltown

Ah - museums

One of the great problems of the hoarder mind set - and all decent museums are run by hoarders - is the inability to accept that there are limits on available space, and especially available space with appropriate climate control for fragile items (old texts, woven material, organic material, etc.). Dealing as they often do with bean-counting, penny pinching, space grabbing types, decisions are frequently made that resort to make shift lodging for critical collections. Occasionally the decision makers did not bother to inform the curators of the decision to relocate (or even OF the relocation). The school I went stored some collections in a structure know fondly as the "rat house" thanks to the large population of a hybrid wild/lab rat mix. Same school, after it was determined that the rat house needed to be razed for ?, the collection vanished to be relocated months later under the music building in an area contaminated by PCBs from the transformer. The engineer screamed aloud when he saw that "someone" had piled cardboard boxes full of flammable materials next to the transformer. My professor was unhappy as well and told the engineer that as soon as we could negotiate new storage space with university, the materials would certainly be moved. While negotiations were going on the collection once more vanished and was rediscovered several miles away at "the aquatic center" where the rowing team kept their shells and oars. Before it could be rescued, a winter storm came through removing the roof, dowsing the collection, doing massive damage to original paper work, and requiring hazmat operations - mold don't y'know - to rescue what could be rescued. Since the collection actually belonged to the US government we were able to point to the school administration and explain, "they did it!"

At another major university, the museum, renamed from a prominent anthropologist to a cranky 19th century, very wealthy woman who bequested an endowment to the school, relocated a large part of the collection to a space under the women's pool. The area was constantly exposed to chlorine gas. The consequences for the collection when constantly exposed to chlorine gas were unhappy.

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