Senior collection manager Britta Keller Arendt explains how the collections staff keeps track of our artifacts.
One question that Museum staff are frequently asked is “How many artifacts do you have in there?”, which is quickly followed by “How do you keep track of them all?”
Senior collection manager Britta Keller Arendt and collections technician Serena B. Washington demonstrate proper handling of heavy artifacts to collections interns. All photographs by CHM staff.
The answers to these questions are complex and vary with each institution, but here at the Chicago History Museum, we have a dedicated team of collections professionals who work tirelessly to preserve the physical and intellectual integrity of the artifacts both on exhibit and in our storage facilities. Museums don’t have the space or resources to display every single artifact, so managing storage facilities is imperative to preserving collections. CHM is fortunate to be able to store a variety of artifacts—such as costumes, paintings, and decorative and industrial arts—on-site as well as at two off-site locations.