Category Archives: Museums

The Surprising Statistics of U.S. Collecting Institutions

No one can doubt the value of museums and libraries. These institutions are the repositories of our collective cultural memories, preserving history via written word and artifact, helping us find our way forward by knowing where we came from. And our U.S. collecting institutions – libraries, museums, archives, historical societies, and scientific collections – have […]

RFID: Why It’s Not the Same as a Bar Code

Everyone knows what a bar code is – we can’t forget the commercial showing bank customers with bar codes on their foreheads – but the workflow and inventory management benefits of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology aren’t as well known. Like bar codes, RFID tags contain information about the item they’re attached to. No doubt […]

Designing the Disaster-Proof Museum

The recent devastating fire in the National Museum of Brazil reminds everyone in the museum realm that disasters can strike any time. Fire, flood, climate, earthquakes – the potential for damage and loss takes many forms, and no museum is invulnerable. The Association of Art Museum Directors reported over 13 million art objects in museums […]

Art Storage and the Deaccessioning Controversy

As any museum director will tell you, deaccessioning is not quite as simple as cleaning out one’s closets and holding a yard sale. Museums as a whole have a mission to acquire, conserve, and exhibit collections for the benefit of their communities. Reducing the number of artworks or artifacts seems almost antithetical. The decision to […]

The Lean Museum

Lean management techniques are most commonly associated with manufacturing and logistics, and not with collections of historic artifacts or centuries-old artworks. Is there a place for the new lean leadership style in institutions that are, by their very nature, conservative? The answer is an emphatic “Yes,” according to presenters at the Museums and the Web […]

A Tax Deduction To Give Thanks For – The Sec. 179 Rule

It happens every year around this time – the season for end-of-year tax deductions. The Section 179 tax rule gives businesses an opportunity to write off as much as $500,000 in new and used equipment costs. Equipment or software purchased and put into service by December 31st is deducted from your business’s gross income – […]

How Yankee Ingenuity Went The Extra Mile

Sharon, Massachusetts, is crammed full of history and historical artifacts. And like much of the area around Boston, it’s also densely built up. When the Massachusetts Trustees of Reservations decided to consolidate their scattered collections into a single facility in Sharon, there was no available land to build an expansive new storage facility to house […]

Storage Challenge: Truly Unusual Museums

Museums typically fall into a few well-known categories: art, science, and history. But there are some museums specializing in genuinely obscure collections. The Travel Channel’s online magazine offers a selection of some of the most unusual, including: A circus museum A firefighting museum A museum of garbage A spy museum A Pez dispenser museum A […]

What Is The U.S. Army’s “Treasure Room?”

The Army has a large stockpile of outdated, outmoded weapons stored at Virginia’s Ft. Belvoir – but not because it expects to ever use these old weapons. The firearms, and thousands of other military artifacts, are in a storage facility awaiting the completion of The Center of Military History. (See our October 2014 post about […]

Thank You, IRS! The Equipment Purchase Deduction

As the end of the year approaches, the IRS has a little holiday gift for businesses looking for last-minute ways to boost their tax deductions. It’s the Section 179 tax rule, which permits the deduction of the full purchase price of business equipment, up to $25,000. As explained by the tax watchers at Section179.org, this […]