Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works Objects Specialty Group
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NMAI LIVING: Moving a la Martha
Rachel Perkins Arenstein, Colleen Brady, Norine Carroll, Jen French, Emily Kaplan, Angela Yvarra McGrew, Ashley McGrew, Scott Merritt, Leslie Williamson
National Museum of the American Indian
Staff at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian 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 talk will present an overview of the techniques we use that would make Martha Stewart proud, for as we now well know - a move is much more than putting objects in a box.

Inventive supports that are functional and aesthetic can be efficiently mass-produced to safely move your archaeological and ethnographic treasures. Speedy, minimally interventive stabilization treatments, such as securing those pesky loose beads and fragile, flaky surfaces, can be a breeze with the right tools and techniques. Make your objects comfortable with our simple suggestions for packing. And, don't forget, once you have reached your destination you want to make sure your shelving always looks good for guests with novel archival storage mounts.

Best yet, all of this can be accomplished with things you might already have on hand in the lab - Tyvek, Volara, tri-rod and backer rod foam, polypropylene pellets, stretch wrap, corrugated board, Teflon tape, white cotton thread, hot melt glue, cyclododecane, and a turkey baster. Whether you are moving down the block or out of state, or just want to make your storage space look nice, there are sure to be tempting teasers in this talk that will correspond to our helpful tips in the afternoon. Moving collections - it's a good thing.

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