The SSMC will present two concurrent tracks for 2017

 Administration and Collections Care 

Collections Care

Funding Collections Care in Small Museums - Nicolette B. Meister

This session will introduce participants to federal and Stateline funding opportunities that support all aspects of collections care, management, and training.  Participants will learn about the importance of preservation assessments and their relationship to preservation planning. Strategies for project planning, proposal writing, and helpful hints will be discussed and participants will receive resources that will help them plan collections care projects at their institution. 


Exhibiting Historical Clothing & TextilesCarolyn Jenkinson

This session will introduce safe and economical ways to exhibit historical clothing and textiles in small museums with limited staff and resources. Participants will receive a general introduction to textile fiber properties, fabric identification, and common causes of damage in museum display environments. Participants will also learn to identify appropriate (and affordable) mounting materials and methods for the display of a wide range of flat and 3-D textile objects—from slant boards and Velcro mounts for historical flags and quilts, to creating or modifying mannequins for historical garments.


Object Numbering Techniques and MaterialsKrista Barry

One of the most essential, and yet invasive, procedures performed on a museum object is applying a label. Numbering systems link an object to its record using a unique identifier, making those numbers fundamental for effective collections management. This session will introduce participants to the proper supplies and methods for marking a range of materials commonly found in small museum collections. Participants will learn to identify safe and effective marking materials and techniques. They will also receive handouts for future reference, including a list of recommended supplies.


Low-cost, Low-tech Exhibit Mounts - Dan Bartlett

For small museums, small budgets can complicate our ability to balance preservation and display. This talk introduces practical, low-cost solutions for exhibit mounts to make your exhibits look great and provide better protection for your objects. Topics to be discussed include slant boards, appropriate case fabrics, and the use of earth magnets, LED lights, and use of Velcro. Participants will be exposed to examples and receive hands-outs for future reference.


Wisconsin Historical Society Affiliation ProgramRick Bernstein

Reuben Gold Thwaites, the director of the Wisconsin Historical Society, started an affiliation program for local historical societies in 1898, the first such program of its kind in the nation. Since its inception nearly 120 years ago, the Society has amassed over 395 affiliates.  Affiliated organizations range in size from a just a few volunteers to those that employ dozens of professional staff. This program will chart a brief history of Society’s affiliation program, but mostly illustrate the many facets and offerings the affiliation program offers its affiliates. Affiliation is open to any Wisconsin-based, 501c3 tax-exempt, membership organization devoted to history.


Non-Profit Board Essentials and Best Practice - John Decker

Survey results show that many historical societies, regardless of size or mission, are interested in development and training of board members. This program will demystify the “back-of-the-house” activities that are needed to effectively run a non-profit, tax exempt organization. Content includes both “must do” and “should do” actions to maintain tax exempt status and to excel in board operation.


Mission Driven Programming for Small Museums - David Densimone 

Small museums often try to be all things to all people. Developing unique and authentic mission based programs can help you effectively reach your audience in a more impactful manner. Using Black Point Estate and Gardens as a case study, we will discuss the importance of a self-assessment of institutional strengths and weaknesses, interpretive planning and staying on mission when developing programs.


Turn it up to 11: Strategic Planning for Small Museums - Nate Fuller 

Does your small museum have big dreams? Are you trying to figure out a path forward for your organization and don’t know where to begin? What exactly is a strategic plan anyway? Come learn all about strategic planning for small museums during this informative session. Using the Rock County Historical Society (RCHS) as a case study, the presentation is all about practical tips, pitfalls, opportunities, and successes of the strategic planning process that was begun in 2013 and continues to this day. Presented by RCHS Education Curator Nate Fuller, the program aims to be both informative and interesting to museum staff and board members alike. A question and answer period will follow immediately after the presentation.