Collecting and Caring for Cultural Materials
Instructor: Catherine Nichols
Required Meeting Time: Monday 2:45-5 p.m. in Mundelein 418
Note: History students can register for this course as HIST 398 and get 3 hours credit and fulfil the Engaged Learning Requirement.
Museums and repositories are institutions that are entrusted to preserve artifacts and information considered to have cultural, historic, scientific, and economic value. While most of us have viewed artifacts in museum exhibitions, opportunities to work with objects ‘behind-the-scenes’ in collections storage areas are less common. Employment in museums and cultural resource management fields are common for anthropologists and public historians, where knowledge of the care of material culture is often desirable.
Through this internship, students will contribute to the development of Loyola’s new ethnographic research and teaching collection, which consists of cultural materials donated to the University by Chicago collector May Weber. Housed in Mundelein Center and administered by the Department of Anthropology, students will acquire the basic skills necessary for the management and care of collections of cultural materials – both objects and documentation records.
The internship consists of seminar-style instruction and discussion coupled with an extensive practical component. We will meet once a week in the collections area to discuss topics related to museums and collecting, learn best practices of collections management, and acquire professional experience and skills. Students will be required to commit to working an additional 4 hours/week in the collection on a regular schedule. This is a 3 credit internship.
Students will gain experience in:
Physical care and management of cultural objects and documents
Management of object data
Digitization of records
Research on ethnographic/cultural materials and attribution techniques
Cataloguing and Condition Reports
Collections Management Databases
Enrollment in this internship is capped at 10 students. Please make an appointment with Catherine Nichols (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss enrolling. An internship agreement is required.