With the encroaching weekend, good news landed at my door. I will have an intern in just one week! Many of you may not be aware, but I am archaeologist and collections manager for the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. Our local liberal arts college, Millsaps, has an internship program and through them, I will have the opportunity to train a young, aspiring archaeologist in the ways of the force. D’oh, I mean collections management, curations, and materials conservation. The task before me, over the next week and two weekends, is to develop an appropriate syllabus for her. I plan to teach her about what happens to the artifact after it is dug up and bagged. I will emphasize procession, cataloging, register design, the rehabilitation of old collections, photography, and materials conservation. While this might seem comprehensive, I’m looking for creative and fun ways to go about doing this? And is this really every skill a good collections manager needs to know? Are there more? I have about 10-12 weeks to work with her, and I plan to assign readings, the maintenance of a work journal, and an end-of-semester project. Any ideas for the project? I was thinking she could make something didactic, like a poster or display for a museum or public library.
So this go to you all in the ether – how would you guide an undergraduate in collections management?