3126 W. Cary St., #447 | Richmond, Virginia 23221-3504 | 804. 358.3170 | www.vamuseums.org | Spring 2013
Circuit Riders: Supporting Collections Care One Visit at a Time
iTechnical Insert: Environmental Monitoring for Museums of all Sizes Plus, VAM Spring Programming, and The Old Coast Guard Station Museum
Circuit Riders: Supporting Col by Heather Widener What is Circuit Riders?
VAM’s Circuit Riders have been working across the Commonwealth to improve collections care since 2009. Comprised of a conservator, Jeanne Niccolls and an archivist, Bradley Wiles, the Circuit Rider team currently visits ten collecting institutions a year to conduct a mini needs assessment of their collections and storage areas. The team is focused on providing practical advice that is easy to implement within a reasonable timeframe and budget – all in a non-threatening environment of support and collaboration. After the day-long visit, the Circuit Riders provide a written, detailed report that assists the museum in prioritizing collections care needs. Indeed, the recipients of our visits have had wonderful things to say:
“I...must say this is absolutely fantastic! Exactly what we need to guide our actions going forward. I’m amazed at how you were able to distill so much information into concise recommendations, and in a format that I’m certain everyone can understand. I’ll be forwarding this on to our Board and I’m certain it will generate needed discussion and action. I’m going to enjoy checking off the action-items for the next year or so.” --Emma Young, Weems-Botts Museum
meet the needs of individual sites and offers an opportunity for site staff and board members to meet personally with the Circuit Riders team in an informal, supportive and consultative setting. These mini collections assessments are intended to help identify specific issues and set priorities for improving collections care at your institution. The Circuit Riders focus on action items that staff and board can practicably accomplish within a few years’ time. The Circuit Rider report will also help by providing templates and identifying resources to use to draft basic collections policies, forms, and procedures for adoption and implementation. The Circuit Rider program addresses many of the same stewardship areas as the American Association for State and Local History’s StEPs program, and is based on the American Alliance of Museum’s Collections Stewardship Assessment Program (CSMAP) and Heritage Preservation’s Conservation Assessment Program (CAP); consequently, participating in Circuit Riders can help prepare your museum to pursue the StEPS program or determine your readiness for a more comprehensive CSMAP or CAP.
What happens during a Circuit Rider visit? VAM staff was fortunate to be able to witness a Circuit Rider visit firsthand this past December. Christina Newton, project director, and Heather Widener, communications director, met up with the Circuit Riders at the Old Coast Guard Station Museum (OCGS) in Virginia Beach, Virginia for a visit with museum staff: Kathryn Fisher, director; Leslie Small, registrar; and Darcy Nelson, educator. The OCGS, located just steps from the Atlantic Ocean, has unique challenges when it comes to keeping its collections safe and well cared for. As the Circuit Riders’ visit got underway, collections manager Jeanne Niccolls commented, “I love projects like this.” It’s a good thing - because there are a plethora of small museums throughout the state that need the Circuit Riders’ expert advice. Whether it’s about lighting or pest control, collections management policies or recommended levels of RH (relative humidity), the Circuit Riders can provide the kind of support and guidance that so
“What a wonderful visit yesterday! After you left, I really felt energized and for the first time knew that help is out there and we can make this work….” - Mary Helen Dellinger, Manassas Museum “Thank you! I received the Circuit Riders report from you. It is terrific! I presented a $100,000 funding campaign to my board last month and it was approved. ” - Jeff Smith, Appomattox Historical Society
How can Circuit Riders help my museum? Circuit Riders helps small to mediumsized collecting institutions develop preliminary strategies for improving collections care by identifying and prioritizing actions to implement improvements. The program is tailored to
VAM Circuit Riders visit the Old Coast Guard Station in Virginia Beach. Left to right: Kathryn Fisher, OCGS director, Christina Newton, VCI project manager; Jeanne Niccolls, collections manager for Circuit Riders; Darcy Nelson, OCGS director of programs, education, and volunteers; Bradley Wiles, archivist for Circuit Riders; Leslie Small, OCGS administrative director and museum store manager.
llections Care one Visit at a Time stitution. In addition to a listing of key challenges faced by the institution, (such as the example above), the report includes an overview of the day, recommendations for improvement, and resources to help the site move ahead. The Circuit Rider report details strategies and tips for meeting each challenge one step at a time. Said OCGS Director Kathryn Fisher, “All I could see were the brambles, regardless of there being a forest beyond.” The Circuit Rider report allows museum staff to prioritize and identify action items rather than getting overwhelmed by those “brambles.” Additional advice from the Circuit Riders might include: revising and adopting a collections management policy, improving storage areas, creating a disaster plan, improving climate controls, and engaging board members and Jeanne Niccolls inspects a storage area during a Circuit Rider visit. funders. many small museums need to be good stewards of their collections. We started on the main floor, and among the topics discussed were the ins and outs of insurance for collections (including items on loan), lighting control, budgetary challenges, staff resources, and the benefits of a collections management plan. As we moved upstairs and then finally to the “behind the scenes” storage areas, the value of this type of consultation became even more clear. One of the key challenges the museum faces, as noted in the Circuit Rider final report was, “...obtaining adequate and appropriate storage space for the collections not on display….. the space presents many obstacles, making it difficult to access and inspect collections, conduct inventory, handle and move objects up and down the stairs (especially large pieces), or to do routine housekeeping and cleaning…. The beachfront location of the OCGS poses additional risk to the collections due to humidity, infestation, and flooding.”
The future of Circuit Riders
and Library Services (IMLS). However, that grant will be expiring soon, and VAM is seeking alternative funding sources to keep our Circuit Riders – well – riding! In fact, during our 2013 Annual Conference we will host the third annual Circuit Walk, which raises money for Circuit Riders and provides a little early-morning exercise for those looking to stretch their legs and have some fun with friends. For a slightly higher fee, those seeking more pillow time can choose to help out by being a “Ghost Walker.” We’ll be making the rounds on Tuesday, March 12th at The Homestead and we hope that you decide to join us – either in body or spirit! Additionally, VAM now participates in The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia’s Amazing Raise online fundraiser. We have raised funds for three Circuit Rider visits through the Amazing Raise, and we hope to build on that success in 2013. Look for information from VAM in the late summer on how you can get involved to help this important program continue! l
Currently, the Circuit Riders program falls under the Virginia Collections Initiative, which is funded through a Connecting to Collections Statewide Implementation Grant from the Institute of Museum
VAM’s inaugural Circuit Walk in Portsmouth during the 2011 Annual Conference. Supporters may register to walk, or for a slightly higher fee, register as a “Ghost Walker.” We will be holding our third annual Circuit Walk at The Homestead during the 2013 Annual Conference. Plan to join us!
After the visit Following each visit, the Circuit Rider team provides a final report to the collecting in-
Environmental Monitoring for Museums of all Sizes by Jeanne Niccolls and Heather Widener
In recent years the conservation science community has been re-examining traditional parameters for the preservation environment in museums, libraries and cultural institutions. The result has been a movement away from the traditional onesize-fits-all rule of 70 degrees F, 50% relative humidity (RH) and maximum levels of 5 footcandles for light-sensitive materials and15 footcandles for less sensitive materials. Newer models are being developed that take into account such things as the specific nature of materials, their length of exposure to harmful agents, and the rate of change they are subjected to over a given period.
For temperature and RH, maintaining a constant and stable level is more important that an exact temperature or RH setting, keeping in mind that some cultural materials require more specific environmental conditions for their preservation. In historic houses and facilities with mixed collections and limited or no climate control systems, gradual seasonal fluctuation within a broad range is an acceptable goal. It is important to note that light damage is cumulative and irreversible. Several factors are at work and must be evaluated for any given situation: the light sensitivity of the material, the length of exposure and the levels of visible and ultra-violet light. In reference to pest control, though much is known about what materials are subject to attack by which specific pests, study of preventive measures is ongoing.
Why monitor? Monitoring lets you know what you’re really dealing with: what the climate is in your building and where and when it changes; the levels of visible and UV light your collections in different areas of your facility are exposed to at different times of day and seasons, and pests you didn’t know you had because you couldn’t see them. Monitoring provides factual measurements to chart actual conditions, to determine the parameters of your HVAC systems or seasonal
fluctuations and - most important – to collections within an exhibit. Insect traps identify where changes are necessary to should be replaced monthly or more effect improvement. often if you are experiencing an infestation, and monitoring should be an ongoBenefits of monitoring: ing activity. Consistent logging of results • Documents existing conditions is key to attaining useful data. • Indicates where changes are needed • Identifies potential issues before they If your museum does not have monitoring equipment, VAM offers monitoring become really big problems • Lets you know if your environment is stable kits that rent for a month at a time. Choosing three areas to monitor, leaving • Indicates your climate control equipthe units in place for the month, and rement is operating properly – or not cording the measurements in the morn• In museums without environmental ing, at noon and at the end of the day will control systems, identifies the range of any fluctuations in temperature and RH give you a basic idea of what is going on in those spaces during that month. • Provides information to use in developing an action plan to improve Recommended levels conditions Temperature and Humidity: • Identifies problem pests, and gives an indi• A stable temperature and RH, with cation of their seasonal cycles and location minimal fluctuation within a range or • Provides factual evidence that may as gradual seasonal change, is the most help convince decision-makers to take important factor, corrective action • For the majority of cultural materials, a total annual range of 40% minimum to How often should you monitor? 60% maximum and a temperature range Ideally each area of your building conof 59-77°F • Some cultural materials require different environmental conditions for their preservation, with specialized environments or narrower ranges of temperature and RH • Less sensitive materials can have wider parameters for RH and temperature (Adapted from Hatchfield, Pamela.“Crack Warp Shrink Flake: A New Look at Conservation Standards.” Museum: American Association of Museums (AAM), Jan.-Feb., 2011) Visible and Ultra-Violet Light: • Highly sensitive materials: 5 footcandles for 3-6 months; 75 mw/lumen or less • Moderately sensitive materials: 10-15 footcandles for 12-24 months; 75 mw/lumen • Least sensitive materials: Unlimited visible and UV light levels for an unlimited period taining collections should be monitored • Storage areas should be kept dark when round the clock, or at minimum once a no one is working in them week, for a one-year evaluation period, (Adapted from Light Levels for Storage and with continued monitoring to detect Exhibition, Conservation Center for Art and any changes. Measure and record visible Historic Artifacts) and UV-light levels at different times of the day and in different weather condi- Insects: tions at least seasonally, and ideally • Zero insect presence is ideal (but unlikely!) whenever you install exhibits or move • Regularly inspect your collections.
A visible light meter is used for environmental monitoring during a Circuit Rider visit. The same type of light meter can be found in the VAM environmental monitoring kits.
VAM Environmental Monitoring Kits To meet the needs of very small museums, VAM has purchased environmental monitoring kits that can be rented. The purchase of these kits was made possible by a Connecting to Collections Statewide Implementation Grant from the IMLS. VAM’s Circuit Riders use a set of this equipment while conducting site visits to provide environmental monitoring to the site staff and give some immediate feedback. This introduces small and emerging museums and libraries to the importance and habit of environmental monitoring and provides examples of what they can do inexpensively on their own.
Beyond a kit rental: do you need a datalogger?
Electronic dataloggers are common in museum environments. There are a variety of dataloggers available at a broad range of prices. A model that records temperature, relative humidity, and light will meet typical museum needs. The data must be downloaded onto a computer. Software provided with the datalogger allows you to manipulate the data to produce graphs and tables of information. Most allow you to transfer this information to a spreadsheet program. Consider these questions: • How much can you spend? • Who will be in charge of using, downloading information from, and analyzing information The VAM environmental monitoring kits can be gathered from the datalogger? used to compare results in different seasons or • How many areas do you need to monitor? locations. We have purchased simple, user• Do you need a portable monitor or will it friendly units instead of dataloggers or recordremain in the same place all the time? ing thermo-hygrographs. The kits are targeted • Do you have the computer equipment and for those collecting institutions run entirely by knowledge to properly use dataloggers? volunteers or those having a very small staff • How much time and staff resources can without much time to spend on monitoring. The you reasonably devote to changing charts, kits are easy to use and interpret, and do not downloading data, calibrating instruments, require a computer hookup, calibration, or the and manipulating data? downloading of data. Sites can get immediate • How much data manipulation do you data. We deliberately avoided delicate or bulky require? Can you just review charts or do you equipment that could complicate or increase want to be able to look at and produce graphs the expense of shipping the kits back and forth that reflect daily, monthly, and yearly trends? from VAM. Circuit Riders use a hand-held digital psychrometer for the temp/RH monitors, but we Available dataloggers are changing constantly selected Jumbo Meters for the site kits (they’re and you should make yourself aware of new large, easy to see, easy to read, and hard to lose.) options before making your final choice. The following are the kit components: As with any investment of money and staff resources, your museum will need to evaluate 1. Digital Thermo-hygrometers (three units – what the net benefit to your collections will be so several locations can be monitored over the as a result of gathering continuous monitorcourse of the lending period) ing data. Electronic dataloggers can be very 2. UV-light meter useful instruments, but a realistic analysis of 3. Visible light meter your needs and available resources is a wise 4. pH pen* first step. Consider what information you need 5. Sticky trap* from continuous monitoring equipment, and 6. Fade card* how you will use that information to better 7. RH indicator card* care for your collections. 8. Diagram of how to pack materials for return to VAM and instructions for return shipping How to evaluate dataloggers 9. Manual with instructions on how to use If your museum is considering investing in each piece of equipment in kit, recommended a datalogger, there are a variety of selection levels for temperature and RH, visible and UV criteria to take into consideration. Once you light, sample log sheets, and resources for im- have decided that a datalogger is what your proving your museum environment (which all museum needs, it’s time to begin comparing borrowers may keep). Also, the first 20 sites to the various models available. A few things to rent the kit may keep the starred items above. consider include the operating range of the If you are interested in renting a VAM environ- datalogger (as determined by the sensor type mental monitoring kit, contact Christina New- and quality) as well as the accuracy, which is ton, VCI project manager, at 804.358.3173 for also determined by the type of sensor and more information or to schedule your rental. calibration, which can significantly affect cost. If you’ll be attending our Annual Conference, Accuracy may also differ across the functional range of the datalogger. Additionally, memory you may visit the VCI booth to take a look at one of the kits, and get more information. The capacity, run time, sampling rate, alerts, probes, kits rent for 1 - 2 month periods for a modest and of course size, appearance, and construction are all variables to consider. rental fee of $40.
For a comprehensive comparison of available dataloggers, download the September 2011 National Park Service Conserve O Gram entitled Comparing Temperature and Relative Humidity Dataloggers for Museum Monitoring. This resource contains a comprehensive chart comparing datalogger hardware specifications as well as data retrieval, viewing, and analysis. This resource, paired with some outreach to colleagues to get anecdotal reviews of what they are using, should be of great assistance if you are in the market for a datalogger.
How to use monitoring information once you have it Monitoring and logging your results are only useful if you first evaluate the data and then take measures to address any problems or make improvements. You’ll need to take into account the extent and urgency of the situation, the collection materials involved, the limitations of your building and equipment, and available institutional resources. Once you know the parameters of your climate control systems, you can consider adjustments or additions to existing equipment or to your exhibit practices, such as moving collections to another space with a range the materials can better tolerate or creating microclimates for them. You might decide to install portable equipment like fans and dehumidifiers, or seal windows. Before making any major changes to existing HVAC systems or installing new equipment for the first time, consult with a climate control engineer experienced in working with collecting institutions. If your light levels are too high, you can implement a host of light-reduction practices, such as adding blinds or shades, replacing old UV film on windows, redirecting spot lighting, reducing the amount of time that sensitive collections are on exhibit, and of course turning off the lights! When you learn the insects on your traps are nasty critters to have around collections, you may want to replace weather-stripping on doors, seal cracks in building surfaces, or purchase a covered metal trash can for food waste. Contact a pest management expert only as a last resort, explain your concern for the collections, and discuss potential actions like treating the foundation exterior. After making any changes, continue monitoring! Make sure the changes you’ve made haven’t adversely impacted other systems, are effective, and that they have improved preservation conditions for your collections.
...continued on page 7.
Spring Workshops & Programs l 2013 l How to Build Membership and Keep Members Happy
April 17, 2013. Washington & Lee University, Lexington Certificate credit: external affairs Speakers: Speakers: Brian Wells, Chrysler Museum of Art; Jeff Fulgham, National D-Day Memorial; Anna von Gehr, Fralin Museum of Art, University of Virginia.
Membership is a basic and crucial component of many museums’ survival. No matter who your members are, or how long your membership program has been in existence, it is always a challenge to get them and keep them. Learn from three different museum membership managers some of the techniques they use to build their museum’s membership, and tips they have found to maintain members once they have recruited them.
Legal Issues in Museums May 1, 2013. National Museum of the Marine Corps, Triangle Certificate credit: internal affairs Legal issues are never “sexy,” and are often a bit scary and overwhelming for most. This workshop will help take the mystery out of basic legal issues that museums need to think about and deal with in daily business. While this might not be a favorite topic to think about, it is one you can’t afford to miss.
Photography in Museums June 5, 2013. Hampton University Museum, Hampton Certificate credit: exhibitions or collections management Speakers: Mark Fagerburg, Library of Virginia; Dana Puga, Library of Virginia; Travis Fullerton, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; Claudia Jew, Mariners Museum; Meg Eastman, Virginia Historical Society.
Photography in museums takes many forms. This workshop will explore them all. Do you allow visitors to take photographs in your museum? Should you? Do you sell copies of photographs in your collection for use in publications? Should you, and if so, how do you do it? Where and how does copyright come into play? What about online images of your site and collection? Learn from several experts in the field and discuss the many ways that photography impacts your collections and exhibit spaces.
Registration information Cost (unless otherwise noted): • $50 VAM members, • $75 nonmembers. • Optional box lunch, $15. Go online, call 804.358.3172 or email email@example.com to register. All workshops run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. unless otherwise noted. l
Online! Art 195: Museum Collections Care April 1 - 21, 2013. Online through John Tyler Community College This course will provide an introduction to the many elements of professional museum collections care. Whether you plan on working with a collection or already have a collection to care for, this online class will give you the basic practical information you need. Class topics will include collections storage essentials, collections policies, and preventive conservation techniques to help with long term preservation of objects.
Priority: Disaster Plan March 25, 2013. Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont, Fredericksburg Cost is just $25 (includes box lunch) Need a new disaster plan? Have one that desperately needs updating? Never have time to get to it? Then this workshop is for you. Spend a full day working with a disaster planning expert on what you need to do to get one created—you will leave with everything you need to check that plan off of your to-do list!
Does your museum have an interesting or significant endangered artifact in need of attention? Participate in the 2013 Top 10 Endangered Artifact competition and gain exposure for your artifact and your site!
Why Nominate an Artifact? • Be featured in all of VAM’s Top 10 communications. • Receive guidance on the marketing of Top 10 nominations, from media relations to social media. • Leverage your participating to raise funds for conservation. • Benefit from extensive press coverage! Last year’s Top 10 campaign resulted in well over 100 press clippings. • Spread awareness of your organization far and wide!
We’ll be announcing the 2013 Top 10 Endangered Artifacts program soon. Stay tuned!
Environmental Monitoring for Museums of all Sizes (continued from page 5) Resources for further exploration
• Dew Point Calculator
Canadian Conservation Institute: • Ten Agents of Deterioration (See Pests, Light, Ultraviolet and Infrared, Incorrect Temperature, Incorrect Relative Humidity) • Light Damage Calculator Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts: • Light Levels for Storage and Exhibition Northeast Document Conservation Center - Preservation Leaflets: • Monitoring Temperature & Relative Humidity • Protection from Light Damage Image Permanence Institute: • Webinars on Sustainable Preservation Practices • The Evolution of New Standards (YouTube video) • eClimateNotebook™
Connecting to Collections Online Community: • Identifying Museum Insect Pest Damage and Addressing it with Integrated Pest Management • Choosing the Datalogger That is Right for You • Wireless Dataloggers National Park Service: • Conserve O Gram 3/7: Monitoring Insect Pests With Sticky Traps (August 1998) • Conserve O Gram 3/3: Comparing Temperature and Relative Humidity Dataloggers for Museum Monitoring (September 2011) l
Thank You Conference 2013 Sponsors! PLATINUM
The Design Minds, Inc. TourSphere, Inc.
AmRestore Clarkson & Wallace Realty Co. Dorfman Museum Figures GOLD HealyKohler Design Cinebar Productions, Inc. Hollinger Metal Edge Glavé & Holmes Architecture Homestead Preserve Stumpf & Associates, Inc. Markel Artworks SILVER Nature Retreats Blair, Inc. OnCell Gropen, Inc. Russell Bernabo Fine Art Conservation Lynchburg College Museum Studies Shenandoah Valley Productions LLC Program StudioAMMONS Museum Rails VAM Council Rudinec & Associates – Request-A-Print Willis of New York, Inc.
The O ld Coast G uard Station: Fro Resource and Resor t L andmark
by Darcy Nelson
The 1903 building began as a Life-Saving Station and was built to replace an earlier 1878 structure that was one of over 200 coastal stations in the U.S. Life-Saving Service (USLSS). The USLSS was a federal service established in response to the tremendous amount of life and property being lost to shipwreck.
During the USLSS era, eight surfmen and a keeper resided at the station on constant lookout for victims to the shifting shoals and storms of the Atlantic coast. The resort town of Virginia Beach grew up around the station as surfmen built family homes in the vicinity and developers built grand hotels to take adThe Old Coast Guard Station, courtesy of the OCGS vantage of the burgeoning middle class and their taste for salubrious maritime Locals and perennial visitors climates.
to the Virginia Beach Oceanfront have long referred to the white shingle-sided building with its iconic watch tower as “the old Coast Guard Station” and that’s just what it was from 1915 until its decommissioning in 1969. Museum visitors often recount stories of crews walking beach patrols and performing drills on lonely winter beaches and amidst throngs of summer vacationers.
The museum’s mission is to honor and preserve the history of Virginia’s coastal communities and maritime heritage. Permanent exhibits interpret the people and events of the station’s history from tragic wrecks and heroic rescues to WWII beach patrols for German spies. The museum also displays several changing exhibits each year that engage a variety of topics relating to local and maritime history. Recent exhibits have included The Legendary Lynnhaven Oyster, Surf’s Up: A History of Surfing and Surf Culture in Virginia Beach, and AfricanAmericans in the Coast Guard.
Research and Programs The museum’s research and programming efforts are driven by the mission to preserve unique resources and make them accessible to diverse audiences. The museum has a significant collection of books, photographs, and research files pertaining to local, maritime, and military subjects and history that are available to researchers by appointment. Thanks to a partner-
In 1915 the USLSS merged with the Revenue Cutter Service to become the U.S. Coast Guard. As technologies improved, coastal stations were consolidated and the Virginia Beach station, like so many others, was decommissioned. It stood derelict for 10 years before citizen-activists were able to secure its future as a museum. The museum opened to the public in 1981 requiring no less than a careful 90-degree rotation and move to a site 50 yards south where it stands today.
John W. Sparrow, courtesy of the OCGS
om Coast S entinel to Communit y On Display… A Day at the Beach March 5 – May 19
East Coast Surfing Championships 1964, courtesy of the OCGS ship with the Virginia Beach Public Library, dozens of books have been digitized and are viewable on the web. The museum hopes to continue expanding the online accessibility to extend the collection beyond the museum walls. The Old Coast Guard Station is currently producing an oral history and documentary on surfing and surf culture in Virginia Beach. The project will capture the underdocumented stories and experiences of local surf pioneers, which constitute a distinct aspect of local identity as well as an important piece of the sport’s history. In the evening ghost walk program Shipwrecks and Ghost Lore, a storyteller guides groups to relevant sites and recounts legends and true tales of the area’s witches, ghosts, pirates, and shipwrecks. It may be the program’s entertainment factor that sells tickets, but
post tour surveys consistently confirm (to our delight) that connecting with the city’s history is visitors’ favorite element. In addition to programming for the general public, the museum has developed several SOL-aligned outreach programs designed to connect teachers and students with primary sources of local maritime heritage. Economics of a Shipwreck and Geography of a Shipwreck are two secondary outreach programs that examine the origins, destinations, and cargoes of local shipwrecks to bring to life abstract concepts of economics and globalization.
One of the gems of the Old Coast Guard Station archives is a collection of photographs chronicling the Cronk family and their friends enjoying seaside living at Cape Henry, Virginia, at the turn of the last century. Dr. Corydon Cronk was an enthusiastic photographer with a whimsical family. The photographs show an adventurous family living along a semi-isolated seashore, frolicking in the ocean, and playing with friends. A portion of these photographs will be on display in the exhibit A Day at the Beach. Dr. Cronk was assigned to the US Weather Bureau Station at Cape Henry, Virginia from 1898 to 1903. There he would record meteorological data taken from instruments considered simplistic by today’s standards and report the findings to Norfolk via telegraph. Dr. Cronk moved his wife and son from Baltimore to live with him at the weather bureau. According to a 1900 census, their neighbors included the men who served at the Cape Henry life-saving station and lighthouses, a few fishermen, and their respective families. The photographs, complete with notations, were donated to the museum by one of Dr. Cronk’s descendants.
Though at times dwarfed by highrise hotels and muted by the din of jet noise and rock concerts, the Old Coast Guard Station stands proudly as a symbol and custodian of Virginia Beach’s maritime heritage. l
Museum News in Your Member Kudos
An upcoming episode of C-SPAN’s new series “First Ladies: Influence and Image” will feature the James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library. The episode, set to air on C-SPAN on Monday, March 18 at 9 p.m., will focus on First Lady Elizabeth Monroe. The episode will include interviews with Scott Harris, director of the James Monroe Museum, and Daniel Preston, editor of the Papers of James Monroe, as well as footage of the museum.
passed its goal to raise $2.6 million in a capital campaign. The non-profit organization raised $2.9 million in two years, and is the first of ten organizations to successfully complete a $500,000 Challenge Grant extended by Jane Batten. The Barrier Islands Center’s Board of Directors initiated the campaign in January 2011 to secure endowment funds for the center’s educational programs, community outreach and operating expenses, as well as capital funds for completion of renovations to the historic property.“We are so grateful for the outpouring of support we’ve received through this capital campaign,” said Laura Vaughan, executive director of the Barrier Islands Center.
Patrick Henry’s Red Hill recently announced that their 2008 Red Hill Reserve Cabernet Franc won a gold medal at the 2013 Governor’s Cup® Competition. A year and a half ago, Patrick Henry’s Red Hill began to carry the Red Hill Wine Collection. The Collection includes the Red Hill Reserve, Red Hill Chardonnay, Red Hill Revolution, and Red Hill Traminette. Award winning vintner Michael Shaps of Virginia Wineworks custom made the Red Hill Wine Collection.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced that the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center is among 33 finalists for the 2013 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor conferred on museums and libraries for service to the community and celebrates The American Alliance of Museums institutions that make a difference for has announced the City of Alexandria’s individuals, families, and communiOffice of Historic Alexandria has earned ties. Medal finalists are selected from accreditation as a museum system. Ac- nationwide nominations of institucredited status from the Alliance is the tions that demonstrate innovative highest national recognition achievable approaches to public service, exceedby an American museum. The Office of ing the expected levels of community Historic Alexandria is only one of eight outreach.“Museums and libraries serve municipal organizations across the as community gathering places and country accredited for their museum centers for lifelong learning, and we are systems. Other accredited Virginia very proud to announce the Virginia museum systems include Fairfax County Aquarium as a finalist for the 2013 and Newport News. Seven historic sites National Medal,” said Susan Hildreth, are owned and operated by the City of director of IMLS. Alexandria - Alexandria Black History Museum, Alexandria Archaeology Mu- The Virginia Museum of Transportation, seum, Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site, the official transportation museum Friendship Firehouse Museum, Gadsby’s of the Commonwealth of Virginia, announced that attendance for 2012 Tavern Museum, The Lyceum: Alexandria’s History Museum, and the Stabler- increased by 32.6 percent. The VMT welcomed visitors not only from the Leadbeater Apothecary Museum. The Roanoke and New River Valleys, but Office of Historic Alexandria also manalso from every state, the District of ages the Archives & Records Center. Columbia and Puerto Rico and 49 other The Barrier Islands Center has surcountries. In the past, the transporta-
tion industry has been the major driver of Roanoke’s economic success. Today, the iconic collections at the Museum are contributing to modern-day economic success for the city and the region. In 2012, attendance by citizens living within the Roanoke Metropolitan Statistical Area grew by almost 10,000 visitors. Because of the Museum’s location, many of the Museum’s local visitors also shopped in downtown stores, visited the farmers’ market and enjoyed a meal in local restaurants.“With our continued growth, this Museum has the potential to bring in more outside tax revenue to local governments than any other Museum in Western Virginia,” Fitzpatrick says.
The editors from Encyclopedia Virginia and the Dictionary of Virginia Biography, respective publications of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the Library of Virginia, are collaborating on an NEH-funded project to document the African American experience during Reconstruction in Virginia. Called “From Freedom to Disfranchisement,” the project starts at the moment of African American emancipation on January 1, 1863 and ends with the Virginia Constitution of 1902, which effectively hobbled the African American’s civic life in the Commonwealth for the better part of the 20th century. The University of Virginia and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello will present their highest honors, the 2013 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals in architecture, law and citizen leadership, to, respectively: • Laurie Olin, a distinguished professor, author and renowned landscape architect whose designs include the Washington Monument Grounds in Washington, D.C. and Bryant Park in New York City. • Robert S. Mueller III, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who has led the bureau’s post-9/11 transformation.
Backyard, and Beyond... • Wendy Kopp, founder of Teach For America, which has inspired more than 38,000 top recent college graduates and young professionals to join the movement to ensure educational opportunity for all. The Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medals recognize the achievements of those who embrace endeavors in which Jefferson excelled and held in high regard. To celebrate the Executive Mansion’s 200th anniversary, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and First Lady Maureen McDonnell declared 2013 the Commonwealth’s “Year of the Historic Home.” In honor of this monumental occasion, Richmond’s most renowned historic homes and museums will come together in a collaborative effort to open their doors admission-free to the public. During the weekend of March 23-24, seven participating sites-Agecroft Hall, the John Marshall House, the Edgar Allan Poe Museum, Virginia House, the White House of the Confederacy, Wickham House, and the Wilton House Museum-will offer complimentary admission to visitors who have a printed Time Traveler Passport from the Year of the Virginia Historic Home website.
Marshalls’ homes in Leesburg, Virginia and Pinehurst, North Carolina. The documents in this collection are more personal than the official records documenting George C. Marshall’s army and government service, which already reside in the Foundation’s extensive archives.“This collection adds personal texture to the already rich, professional nature of our archives and helps us the tell the remarkable story of General Marshall and the first half of the twentieth century during which he was such an influential, strategic leader,” said Brian D. Shaw, president of the Foundation.
owned and operated Monticello since 1923. Matthew Chaney started as a Virginia Historical Society (VHS) library clerk in midJanuary. Matthew graduated in May 2012 from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. A native of Ringgold, Virginia, Matthew will assist patrons in the VHS reading room with manuscript, book, and paper-based material requests.
Martha B. Katz-Hyman of Newport News has joined the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation as a curator, with primary responsibility for providing curatorial support in developing media elements for exhibiCharlottesville Albemarle Convention and tion galleries at the American Revolution Visitors Bureau (CACVB), Monticello and Museum at Yorktown, planned to replace Montpelier announced the re-launch of the Yorktown Victory Center by late 2016. the Presidents Passport- a cooperative As an independent curator since 2008, Ms. marketing program designed to encourKatz-Hyman has worked with historic sites age tourism to the greater Charlottesand museums from Virginia to New Jersey, ville area-with a significant sweepstakes including the American History Workshop totaling more than $1,000 in prizes. The on interpretive planning for a major hisprogram,“Presidents Passport,” is suptory exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National ported by a marketing partnership with Museum of African American History and the CACVB, Monticello, and Montpelier. Culture. She is co-editor of “World of a The program now has more than 7,700 Slave: Encyclopedia of the Material Life of members and has connected more than Slaves in the United States,” published in 55 travel partners in the area, ensuring The Virginia Museum of Transportation an2011. l that members of the program will have acnounced that it is studying the feasibility cess to all the best the Charlottesville area of returning the iconic Norfolk & Western has to offer. Class J 611 Steam locomotive to operating condition.“The Class J 611 locomotive Hails and Farewells embodies both beauty and power,” says Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont Beverly T. Fitzpatrick, Jr., executive director welcomes a new intern. Adriana Christesen, of the Virginia Museum of Transportaa Huntington, New York native, is a senior tion.“Since her retirement from excursion art history major at UMW. Ms. Christesen service in 1994, fans have been clamorwill be working with education coordinator ing, hoping and dreaming of a day when Michelle Crow-Dolby to plan and impleshe once again blows her whistle and ment interactive programs for museum thunders across the landscape.” The study visitors and the second-annual Beeping Share it & spread it! - called Fire Up 611! - will determine what it Easter Egg hunt. will take to restore, maintain and operate Send museum and professional Glynn D. Key of Washington D.C. (and the locomotive. A committee of experts Trevose, Pa.) and Gilbert P. Schafer, III, AIA, news to Heather Widener at has been formed to conduct the study. of New York, New York, have been elected firstname.lastname@example.org for The George C. Marshall Foundation has members of the Board of Trustees of the inclusion in our monthly Forum ereceived The George C. Marshall and Thomas Jefferson Foundation. Donald A. newsletter and in this MUSENET Katherine T. Marshall Collection, donated King, Jr., of Keswick, Va., has been elected by members of the Marshall family. The section of the quarterly chairman of the Board of Trustees. The collection includes letters, photographs, Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc., is the newsmagazine. scrapbooks, and other records from the private, nonprofit corporation that has
Director’s Corner time staff and offices in order to serve the museum community. Our Governing Council
Dear Members, I am writing this in the midst of the usual pre-conference flurry of activity – last minute registrations to confirm, catering orders to update, exhibit hall games and prizes to plan, transportation to arrange, and sanity to be kept if at all possible! Every year at conference time I am struck by the generosity of the Virginia museum community and its supporters. The Virginia Association of Museums has been in existence since 1968, and over the years has grown to be one of the largest and most dynamic of the state associations. This is due in no small part to the support for professional development that has always been a hallmark of the membership. VAM members are focused on professionalism and have a high degree of commitment to best practices and the standards of the museum profession. They are also generous with their time and money. VAM is able to provide the services that it does because of the willingness of members to give back to the profession – by serving as speakers and trainers, by providing one-on-one technical assistance, by volunteering for committees and Council, and in a myriad other ways. This is all time donated without compensation. Outright donations include contributions to our scholarship and speaker funds, to our silent auction, and to special programs like the Circuit Riders collection assessment program. And where would we be without the support of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts? Our partnerships with both of these organizations have made it possible for VAM to have a full-
O u r Co nt a c ts
Phone: 804. 358.3170 VAM is also blessed to President, Tracy J. Gillespie Fax: 804. 358.3174 VP, Planning & Resources, Al Schweizer have the support of VP, Programming, Gary Sandling many in the supplier www.vamuseums.org Secretary, Barbara Batson community. Like our email@example.com Treasurer, Sean Fearns museum members, firstname.lastname@example.org our business members Past Presidents, John Verrill and Scott Harris email@example.com Ex-Officio Members, Robert C. Vaughan firstname.lastname@example.org share a passion for email@example.com the museum field and and Robin Nicolson D i re c to rs its stewardship and Gretchen Bulova Page Hayhurst O u r News D eadlines interpretation of our Donald Buma Anna Holloway Spring: February 15 cultural and historic Norman Burns Melanie L. Mathewes Summer: May 15 heritage. We literally April Cheek-Messier Fall: August 15 would not be able to Diane Dunkley Robert Orrison Winter: November 15 put on our largest Lin Ezell Cheryl Robinson training program – the Patrick Farris Barbara Rothermel Our Mission annual conference – Debi Gray Charlotte Whitted The mission of the Virginia Association without the financial O u r St a f f of Museums is to serve as the resource support provided Executive Director, Margo Carlock network of the Virginia and District through sponsorships Deputy Director, Jennifer Thomas of Columbia museum community Communications Dir., Heather Widener and exhibit hall fees. through education, technical Accountant, Su Thongpan But these folks step up assistance, and advocacy. to the plate throughProject Manager, VCI, Christina Newton out the year, helping O u r Vo i ce VAM in many ways and VAM Voice is a member benefit pubproviding advice and lished quarterly for museum profesassistance to Virginia’s sionals and volunteers. The editor museums. So please encourages readers to submit article proposals. Contact the Communicatake another look at the list of Sponsors on tions Director for more information. page 7 of this news fund drive and will encourage contributions magazine, and please stop by the Exhibit Resource Hall at the conference and say thank be made to this fund for museum education and technical assistance. you.
We now have another way through which VAM’s membership and all those who cherish the museum profession can help to assure that services to museums are maintained and expanded. We all know that the past 4-5 years have been tough – tougher than usual for our profession, which always seems to get hit first, hard, and long. As a result of state budget cuts, we lost a third of our operating support for the past two years. VAM’s governing council has created a special contribution opportunity for those in the profession that believe in service to the museum field.
Together – as we always have – the Virginia museum community will provide for our continued successful stewardship.
Margo Margo Carlock Executive Director Virginia Association of Museums
Council has created the Joseph Gutierrez Memorial Fund, named after our late president, Joseph Gutierrez, Sr. Joe had a strong commitment to museums and historic sites, and he believed VAM was an important instrument in providing support for the field. At the annual conference, we will be announcing a