Case Study: Bad Vibrations

Collections Management
Start Day and Time
Tuesday May 9 1:30-2 p.m.
Venue and Meeting Room
261 America's Center
The demolition of a nearby building forced the Penn Museum to undergo gallery and storage modifications with minimal prep time. This case study examines how the museum worked with nearby institutions and experts to create an action plan, moving its iconic Egyptian collection off-site and deinstalling some of its largest pieces in less than 18 months. The team tackled the time-sensitive project by utilizing new technology and a modular packing system, and by maintaining regular access to storage for collections and research staff.
Learner Outcome
  1. Don't Fear Change: Large-scale collections projects can appear overwhelming, but a long-term view with short-term goals can help minimize stress.
  2. Embrace New Methods: From cloud servers and barcoding to vibration monitors and modular packing, we applied new tactics to dealing with collections.
  3. Expand Your Toolkit: The right mental tricks and physical tools can help solve almost any problem. There'll be a takeaway of Top 10 Essential Tools.""
Robert Thurlow
Special Projects Manager
Penn Museum - University of Pennsylvania
After nearly a decade at the Penn Museum, Bob Thurlow has focused on traveling exhibitions, continued improvement of the institution's collections stewardship, and overseeing the museum's vibration mitigation plan. Along with many of his colleagues, he was a recipient of the University of Pennsylvania's Commitment to Excellence Award in 2012. He is currently the co-chair of the Collections Care Professional Network of the AAM.