Principles of Collection Management
Instructor: Terry Birkett
This course focuses specifically on collections management, facilities, and storage. The first section will cover risk assessment, staff training, inventory control, handling, and equipment. The second section addresses security and fire systems, environmental monitoring equipment, facility selection and design, and off-site storage. The third section discusses storage types, designs, material and construction; “custom-made” vs. “off-the-self” units; special housings; and how to build a custom objects storage unit. Participants are encouraged to bring up to six slides illustrating problems with their collections storage facility for discussion and analysis.
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Terry Birkett is Director of Collections at The Detroit Institute of Arts, an encyclopedic collection of art and artifacts from prehistory to contemporary art. He has over 20 years experience with working with collections in various capacities, including design, planning, and implementing storage plans, managing storage facilities, storage equipment design, computerized tracking and documentation, digital imaging, supervision of art handling teams, and coordination of construction and renovation of buildings and systems that affect art storage. He has presented at numerous conferences on collection care and storage design, including American Institute for Conservation, Association of Midwest Museums, and the American Association of Museums, and was a recipient of the Midwest Registrars Committee Travel Stipend Award. He is a trainer for the Michigan Museum Associations Collections Care Workshops, and is a consultant to other museums, private businesses and collections on art storage facility design and equipment, collection management and documentation. In addition, he is the Collection Manager for a major private collection, responsible for the care, display, cataloging, and documentation of the collection.