Museum Made of Paper 1978

July 20, 2014

As we moved out of the old Alaska State Museum, this was found in the education supplies.  McGraw-Hill published this in 1978 as an Instructo Learning Center Teaching Guide called, “A Field Trip to An Art Museum.”  I’m ready to pass it on to someone passionate for this sort of ephemera.  I’ll cover US postage and mail it.  Some reassembly required.

For scale, my kid is 6 years old.  Target audience is grades 4-6

For scale, my kid is 6 years old. Target audience is grades 4-6

Pieces punch out paper doll style

Pieces punch out paper doll style

floor of the gallery plus outdoor sculpture garden

floor of the gallery plus outdoor sculpture garden

Tab A in slot B kinda thing

Tab A in slot B kinda thing

There are Registrar files, and credit is given for each of the artworks owners

There are Registrar files, and credit is given for each of the artworks owners

Art education and museology circa 1978

Art education and museology circa 1978

I especially love the Spirit Duplicating Masters from the ditto machine days

I especially love the Spirit Duplicating Masters from the ditto machine days

Check out the cool Registrar File

Check out the cool Registrar File

Exterior and front door of the museum

Exterior and front door of the museum

Sculpture garden

Sculpture garden

Inside, with a mezzanine level, families, security guards etc

Inside, with a mezzanine level, families, security guards etc

And of course, at the heart of the museum, a coffee shop!

And of course, at the heart of the museum, a coffee shop!


Artifact Storage: Tips and Tricks

December 16, 2013

Some random images of tricks and tips for artifact storage, courtesy of the Alaska State Museum…

Our supplies board helps interns and volunteers recognize various materials and how much they cost per square foot.

Our supplies board helps interns and volunteers recognize various materials and how much they cost per square foot.

Tubular bags with a bag sealer

Tubular bags with a bag sealer

Nice glue gun, well worth the money.

Nice glue gun, well worth the money.

Tyvek and polyester batting make nice sausages for padding.

Tyvek and polyester batting make nice sausages for padding.

Bag sealer can customize the size of your sausages or make pillows.

Bag sealer can customize the size of your sausages or make pillows.

A hole punch can go through E Flute corrugated blueboard for a tidy hole.

A hole punch can go through E Flute corrugated blueboard for a tidy hole.

A fancier drill-style hole punch can put a hole further from the edge.

A fancier drill-style hole punch can put a hole further from the edge.

For packing, blue tape with a tab on the end is nice.  Ready to pull off a plastic board (Coroplast) even nicer.  Weighted down by a board so you can use it one-handed!

For packing, blue tape with a tab on the end is nice. Ready to pull off a plastic board (Coroplast) even nicer. Weighted down by a board so you can use it one-handed!

Tyvek shroud over a garment rack, made on a sewing machine.

Tyvek shroud over a garment rack, made on a sewing machine.


Artifact Storage: Bag, Pad, Interleave Solutions

December 16, 2013

BAG SOLUTIONS

Images below help illustrate some artifact storage ideas.  A bag is an archival plastic enclosure with or without a ziplock.  Tubular bags are made with a bag sealer.

PROS:

  • Faster than a box, tray or pallet
  • Long term dust or water protection
  • Allows handling without gloves
  • Prevents objects from snagging or abrading each other
  • Catches loose fragments that might fall off and keeps them associated with object
  • Allows density of objects if done well

CONS:

  • No custom support
  • Does not prevent objects knocking each other
  • Objects can be damaged if it is hard to get them out of the bag again

TIPS:

Great for small items

Include a slip of paper inside bag with object number or write it on bag

Include a sheet of blueboard the full size of bag as a support for the object

INTERLEAVING SOLUTIONS

Interleaving is when you wrap or place material (like thin foam, Tyvek, or tissue) between objects to protect them from each other.

PROS:

  • Prevents snagging, abrading, and staining
  • Some limited protection from knocking
  • Allows object density, even some overlapping
  • Allows stacking of thin flat items like flat textiles

CONS:

  • Less protection than other solutions
  • Harder to see the objects
  • Does not provide support for lifting
  • Objects might get squished too tightly
  • Does not keep detached fragments associated with object

TIPS:

See also: box solutions, pallet solutions, tray solutions, and tips n’ tricks.

Cavity pack with Tyvek interleaving.

Cavity pack with Tyvek interleaving.

Volara (polyethylene) foam collars prevent abrasion and knocking.

Volara (polyethylene) foam collars prevent abrasion and knocking.

Custom holes in foam sheet to prevent shifting and knocking.

Custom holes in foam sheet to prevent shifting and knocking.

Textiles stuffed out and folds softened with tissue padding.

Textiles stuffed out and folds softened with tissue padding.

Big fat padded hangers for hanging garments.

Big fat padded hangers for hanging garments.

Tyvek in between skin boots to prevent abrasion.

Tyvek in between skin boots to prevent abrasion.

Delicate shells sit on a pad of polyester batting covered with tissue.

Delicate shells sit on a pad of polyester batting covered with tissue.

Little coin holders with Mylar windows are good for very small items, like individual beads.

Little coin holders with Mylar windows are good for very small items, like individual beads.

These drawers dividers made of blotter paper are then slipped through slots in a sheet of polyethylene foam and...

These drawers dividers made of blotter paper are then slipped through slots in a sheet of polyethylene foam and…

...make good storage for halibut hooks.

…make good storage for halibut hooks.

Snowshoes are bagged in pairs with foam padding between them.

Snowshoes are bagged in pairs with foam padding between them.

Close up of the padding between snowshoes with cotton twill tape ties.

Close up of the padding between snowshoes with cotton twill tape ties.

A bag with a pallet inside supports the object, as well as catches any loose beads that might fall of this octopus bag.

A bag with a pallet inside supports the object, as well as catches any loose beads that might fall of this octopus bag.

Jointed jewelry likes to have a pallet inside a bag too.

Jointed jewelry likes to have a pallet inside a bag too.

These ivory necklaces store well tied down to pallets inside tubular bags.

These ivory necklaces store well tied down to pallets inside tubular bags.

Some items come on their own backing board.  Foam collars help prevent knocking.

Some items come on their own backing board. Foam collars help prevent knocking.

Love redundant numbers!  Just in case...

Love redundant numbers! Just in case…

Careful use of a handheld bag sealer allows 3-D bags to protect taxidermy specimens.

Careful use of a handheld bag sealer allows 3-D bags to protect taxidermy specimens.

A pallet supports the arctic tern, and a 3-D custom bag is made for it.

A pallet supports the arctic tern, and a 3-D custom bag is made for it.


Artifact Storage: Pallet Solutions

December 16, 2013

PALLET SOLUTIONS

Images below help illustrate some artifact storage ideas.  A pallet is a flat sheet of stiff archival board like blueboard or Coroplast that is the foundation for securing an object.  It has no sides, unlike a box or tray.

PROS:

  • Faster than a box or tray
  • Gives each object its own space (esp. for protruding parts)
  • Gives a foundation to attach bumpers
  • Easy to use and access tie-downs
  • Good visibility
  • Allows density of objects if done well

CONS:

  • No protection from the sides, nearby items can slide onto the pallet, too
  • Not as good as a tray or box for bracing
  • Not as fast as a bag or collar
  • Harder to lift/grasp than a box or tray
  • Poorly chosen board may bend in a way that damages object
  • No long term dust or water protection
  • Does not catch possible fragments

TIPS:

Good for low, flat items

Good for long items

Use to support items inside a bag

Heavier items might need two layers of board with corrugation at 90 degrees

Write the number on the pallet in at least two locations

Include the outline of the object on the pallet for aid in orienting later

Use with bumpers to provide support

Cushion when needed

Easy to use with tie-downs, either make notches in sides or holes with a hole punch

See also: box solutions, tray solutions, bag/pad/interleave solutions, and tips n’ tricks.

You can double up thickness with corrugation in opposite directions for strength.

You can double up thickness with corrugation in opposite directions for strength.

Pallet with padded foam bumpers.

Pallet with padded foam bumpers.

Pallet with padded foam bumpers.

Pallet with padded foam bumpers.

Pallet has a tray below to hold the lid  that no longer fits the basket.

Pallet has a tray below to hold the lid that no longer fits the basket.\

Pallet with bumpers and tie downs for ivory.

Pallet with bumpers and tie downs for ivory.

We paired the curved ivory to save room in drawers.  Two was plenty heavy, though.

We paired the curved ivory to save room in drawers. Two was plenty heavy, though.

Here's one on a foam pallet with tie downs.

Here’s one on a foam pallet with tie downs.

Bumpers to prevent moving and pallet cut down to save space in drawer.

Bumpers to prevent moving and pallet cut down to save space in drawer.

Spoon pallet with bumpers and tie down.

Spoon pallet with bumpers and tie down.

Multiple spoons could go together to save space.

Multiple spoons could go together to save space.

Trimmed down pallets save room in the drawer.

Trimmed down pallets save room in the drawer.

Rattles with custom foam and Tyvek supports.

Rattles with custom foam and Tyvek supports.

Side view of a custom rattle support.

Side view of a custom rattle support.

Custom support for metal vessel.

Custom support for metal vessel.

Supports for icons.  Ones with delicate edges get a tray with a "pallet lift"

Supports for icons. Ones with delicate edges get a tray with a “pallet lift”

Pallet lift for an icon with delicate edges.

Pallet lift for an icon with delicate edges.

Pallet inside a bag for a glass bead necklace.  Backer rod, Volara foam and tie downs prevent knocking.

Pallet inside a bag for a glass bead necklace. Backer rod, Volara foam and tie downs prevent knocking.

Backer rod on blueboard prevents salad implements from moving.

Backer rod on blueboard prevents salad implements from moving.

Backer rod is helpful for making dance fan supports.

Backer rod is helpful for making dance fan supports.

Pallets with bumpers are good for masks.

Pallets with bumpers are good for masks.

Loose appendages for masks can be stored separately on the same pallet.

Loose appendages for masks can be stored separately on the same pallet.

Pallets create a no-fly zone for each mask in the drawer.

Pallets create a no-fly zone for each mask in the drawer.

Pallets with dividers and tie downs store long weapons and arrows efficiently.

Pallets with dividers and tie downs store long weapons and arrows efficiently.

A bit of tubular bag over the feathers helps prevent snagging.

A bit of tubular bag over the feathers helps prevent snagging.

Top of pillar curves away on these bumpers for ease of seating.

Top of pillar curves away on these bumpers for ease of seating.

Several model snowshoes together on a pallet.

Several model snowshoes together on a pallet.

For efficient space use, a drawer insert is created, with outlines and numbers written right on the blueboard.

For efficient space use, a drawer insert is created, with outlines and numbers written right on the blueboard.

Russian lampadas are hard to store, but here's a couple of ideas.

Russian lampadas are hard to store, but here’s a couple of ideas.

For really delicate items, a sink mat might work.  This one has a clear Mylar lid.

For really delicate items, a sink mat might work. This one has a clear Mylar lid.

These anchor stones are padded and bumpered using wooden pallets with handholds and a "foot" underneath.

These anchor stones are padded and bumpered using wooden pallets with handholds and a “foot” underneath.


Artifact Storage: Tray Solutions

December 16, 2013

TRAY SOLUTIONS

Images below help illustrate some artifact storage ideas.  A tray is a kind of box with low sides.  If the sides are high enough to protect the full object, we often call it a box.  If there are no sides at all, we call it a pallet.

PROS:

  • Faster than a full box
  • Prevents objects from touching
  • Gives each object its own space
  • Side-by-side trays and boxes brace each other in the drawer
  • Easier to pick up than pallets
  • Better visibility than a box
  • Allows density of objects if done well
  • Catches possible fragments

CONS:

  • Does not provide full height protection of a box
  • Not as fast as bag, pallet, or collar
  • Harder to access and use tie-downs than a pallet
  • No long term dust or water protection

TIPS:

Use with bumpers to provide support

Cushion when needed

Use with sub-dividers (board or paper accordion for example)

Write the number on the tray in at least two locations

Include the outline of the object on the tray for aid in orienting later

Use with items too heavy for a pallet

Chose a tray over a pallet if the consequences of touching are high

See also: box solutions, pallet solutions, bag/pad/interleave solutions, and tips n’ tricks.

Trays allow dense storage while preventing objects from touching.

Trays allow dense storage while preventing objects from touching.

Basket trays include bumpers to prevent baskets from flipping out.

Basket trays include bumpers to prevent baskets from flipping out.

Trays with bumpers work well for smaller baskets and give an easy place to lift at the corner.

Trays with bumpers work well for smaller baskets and give an easy place to lift at the corner.

Pre-made boxes can be used as trays, sub-divided with paper to hold smaller items.

Pre-made boxes can be used as trays, sub-divided with paper to hold smaller items.

Blotter paper is a nice material for subdividing trays.

Blotter paper is a nice material for subdividing trays.

Accordion-folded paper is a quick divider in a tray.

Accordion-folded paper is a quick divider in a tray.

Trays with dividers are great for dense storage.

Trays with dividers are great for dense storage.

This book has a piece of Tyvek to help lift it out of the tray.

This book has a piece of Tyvek to help lift it out of the tray.


Artifact Storage: Box Solutions

December 16, 2013

BOX SOLUTIONS

Images below help illustrate some artifact storage ideas.  A box is a storage container that has sides that are usually taller than the object.  Various kinds include ones with a lid, clamshell style with lid, no lid, or a drop-front.

PROS:

  • More protection than most other solutions
  • Fast if pre-made
  • Easier to lift than a pallet or tray
  • Catches possible fragments

CONS:

  • Time consuming if custom-made
  • Harder to maintain object density if box is not custom-made
  • Cannot see object easily

TIPS:

Write number on outside of box on two adjacent sides

Use with bumpers to provide support

Cushion when needed

Use with dividers (board or paper accordion for example)

Use with layered trays inside to increase object density

Good for fragile objects like glass or coral

See also: tray solutions, pallet solutions, bag/pad/interleave solutions, and tips n’ tricks.

 

Boxes can behave much like trays to allow dense storage.

Boxes can behave much like trays to allow dense storage.

Boxes protect items on a shelf from bumping.

Boxes protect items on a shelf from bumping.

Dividers in a box can aid with density of storage.

Dividers in a box can aid with density of storage.

These tiny paper boxes are glued down to pallets in groupings from excavation.

These tiny paper boxes are glued down to pallets in groupings from excavation.

Box with supports for mask appendages.

Box with supports for mask appendages.

Drop front box with a pallet featuring padded bumpers.

Drop front box with a pallet featuring padded bumpers.

Drop front box with a pallet featuring tyvek-covered two-part cavity.

Drop front box with a pallet featuring tyvek-covered two-part cavity.

Drop front box with bumper attached to front drop-down panel.

Drop front box with bumper attached to front drop-down panel.

Heavy mineral on resin base tied down to pallet...

Heavy mineral on resin base tied down to pallet…

Box with drop-away sides ready to receive mineral specimen on pallet.

Box with drop-away sides ready to receive mineral specimen on pallet.

Box ready to be closed, also has a snug lid (not shown).

Box ready to be closed, also has a snug lid (not shown).

Box with tie-down for the lid of a container.  Tyvek between lid and vessel is a visual cue.

Box with tie-down for the lid of a container. Tyvek between lid and vessel is a visual cue.

Large wooden boxes are lined with MarvelSeal as a barrier against pollutants offgassing from the box.

Large wooden boxes are lined with MarvelSeal as a barrier against pollutants offgassing from the box.

Fluted plastic (Coroplast or Correx) with a frame of wood makes good in-house temporary storage for framed art.

Fluted plastic (Coroplast or Correx) with a frame of wood makes good in-house temporary storage for framed art.

A Tyvek lifting sling for this painted metal box.

A Tyvek lifting sling for this painted metal box.


Cost of Museum Supplies

September 19, 2013
supplies board

Sample board of supplies and comparative cost per square foot. In the collections processing room, Alaska State Museum, summer 2013

As the Alaska State Museum gears up to move out of its old facility, we’ve been busy ordering and consuming supplies to ready collections for the move.  When you have a choice about what material to use in a given application, which one is more economical?  For the new staff, volunteers, and contractors…what materials are we talking about?  I put together a sample board of products and how much they cost per square foot, mounting the items with hot glue on a sheet of Coroplast and hanging it on the wall above one of the workstations where people are making storage supports.  I’ve also got a list of what we’ve been using in summer 2013, where it comes from and how much it costs per square foot.  Remember, we’re in Juneau, Alaska.  Yes, we are the capital city but we are not on the road system.  Everything comes here by boat or by airplane.  Shipping costs are a big deal.

ITEM SOURCE $$ SQ FT w/shipping
Backer Rod 3/8” GoodHardware $0.21
Backer Rod ½” GoodHardware $0.24
Backer Rod 5/8” GoodHardware $0.27
Blotter paper Talas $1.01
Blueboard Bflute Talas $0.92
Blue tape 1.14” Home Depot $0.04
Corex Local, AJE $0.94
Coroplast Metal Edge $1.88
Polyethylene Foam 1” IR Specialty $4.35
Polyethylene Foam 2” IR Specialty $5.92
Polyethylene Foam 6” IR Specialty $12.04
Foam Cor Metal Edge $1.21
Marvel Seal Talas $1.04
Matboard Daniel Smith $2.05
Minicell 1” IR Specialty $3.40
Muslin thin JoAnne $0.22
Muslin thick JoAnne $0.60
Mylar 3mil Talas $0.29
Pallet Wrap 3” AIH ½ cent
Pallet Wrap 15” AIH $0.02
Reemay Talas $0.90
Stockingette 6” Fisher Sci $0.33
Teflon tape 1” AIH $0.05
Teflon tape ¾” AIH $0.04
Teflon tape ½” Home Depot $0.06
Tissue Talas $0.09
Trapez. Rod 1” Univ. Products $1.50
Trapez. Rod 2” Univ. Products $2.41
Twill Tape 1” Talas $0.21
Tyvek Homewrap Home Depot $0.13
Tyvek tape 2.25” Talas $0.31
Tyvek Softwrap MasterPak $0.27
Volara 1/8” Fisher Sci $0.85
Volara  ¼” Fisher Sci $3.05

How to calculate square feet: multiply L x W in inches, then divide by 144 (12 x 12 is a square foot).  Then visualize and imagine if that makes logical sense.  Our collections room floor tiles are one square foot.  I have a bigger spreadsheet that breaks out columns for how much product and what the shipping costs are, but just posted the conclusions in the table above.

In June 2013, I checked AIH, Home Depot, Valley Lumber and JoAnne in search of products I might get locally especially Teflon tape, tyvek, twill tape, blue tape, pallet wrap, backer rod, and muslin.  Valley Lumber has palletizer, too, supplied by U-line with a cardboard tube.  The 20” is cheaper than the AIH 15”, but their 3” costs more. Home Depot palletizer is green colored, which makes us museum folks suspicious of unnecessary additives or the risk of staining.  Please note, we don’t use blue tape or pallet wrap for storing our collection, just for moving it.  More postings on that to come…

Home Depot Tyvek is Homewrap, not needle punch softwrap, and has words printed on it. Valley Lumber carries Tyvek Homewrap, too, but it costs more.  Beware: “Tyvek tape” we want is made of white Tyvek carrier, not the kind of clear carrier tape that is used to tape Tyvek to Tyvek.  If you’re curious about what all these products are made from and what museums use them for, check out the excellent website CAMEO (Conservation & Art Materials Encyclopedia Online), a searchable inormation resource developed by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Tri Rod is no longer on the market, replaced by trapezoidal rod from University Products.  However, it looks from images on the web that it might not have the smoothness on all exterior surfaces that we like.  We ordered some and will evaluate.

Sources:

Local sources include Alaska Industrial Hardware (AIH), Home Depot, Valley Lumber, Good Hardware, and JoAnne Fabrics.

The State of Alaska has a contract with Fisher Scientific, which includes a discount and free shipping.  This is a huge savings for us.

Our local source for affordable Corex is a sign printing company for where our exhibit designer AJE used to work.  Technically, we should call this stuff Corflute sheet, as Corex is the manufacturer who makes this twin walled polypropylene sheet.  but the local sign company we buy from calls it Corex, so we’ve fallen into the habit too.   While I’m at it, I might as well mention my flagrant abuse of the term “Ethafoam” here too…we tend to use it for any good quality polyethylene foam we use, much in the same way folks might say “Kleenex” for a different brand of facial tissue.

Talas, Metal Edge, Daniel Smith, MasterPak and University Products are vendors with an online presence that are often used by museums.  We have found them the most cooperative of the many vendors available when it comes to Alaskan shipping issues.

IR Specialty is a specialty foam company in Fife, Washington that also has a website.


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