What you're describing is simply that you are a great storage facility for
preserving historic art. My suggestion would be to treat these as an
archivist would do...in short, I would have a folder of documentation on
each item, information on the item itself, information on where it came
from, history, when you got it, etc. You are really in the role of a
curator of these, rather than records management.
For the artwork, you're going to have to (1) maintain a description which
includes size, how framed, etc. (2) location, where kept. (3) provenance,
where it came from, source, information, etc. And perhaps come up with
some kind of numbering system. Some of the best storage facilities that
I've seen utilize mesh screens (5' x 10' long) and hang art on both sides.
Barring that, you could wrap them in foam sheet padding, and store
vertically in racks, and number in some way to go with the inventory. In
my shop, I'd document them even more, taking a photo with my smartphone and
printing a color snapshot to go with the inventory.
On Tue, Sep 24, 2013 at 10:21 AM, Seibolt, Robert <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
> Hello Listserv land. Long-time lurker, infrequent poster. Quick intro: I
> have been in RIM for almost 14 years and with my current organization for 7
> years. I am the Records Manager (new job description pending) for a
> not-for-profit, Scientific Research Institute. We deal with a large variety
> of records on media that includes everything from formalin slides to onion
> skin paper. We have been in business since 1944 so we have all kinds of
> oddities which include artwork. One of the first CEOs of our organization
> was an avid painter and knew many other painters over his 25 years of
> leadership. In addition to his own works, we have had other works donated
> to the organization mostly from his friends.
> Yesterday, the property manager brought me two lithographs which I found
> listed on the following page.
> I had to dig quickly to figure out whether I had something of nominal or
> considerable value sitting by my desk. They arrived with no accompanying
> background information.
> Unfortunately, they are not the high dollar ones but they are both about
> 180 years old and worth about 700 dollars combined. We have them because
> our Records Center is the only non-lab space where temperature and humidity
> is managed and monitoring. Many of these artworks are hanging in public
> areas or the offices of senior management. After a change in personnel or a
> remodeling and the artwork is no longer desired for that location, it often
> arrives without notice or background in the Records Center. In addition to
> the new acquisitions to our gallery, we have a space art collection of
> significant value hanging in the Records Center.
> I had a quick learning curve to become an an ad-hoc art curator but I
> think I am doing fairly well. Is anyone else out there also an ad-hoc art
> curator with some wisdom to share? Does anyone know of any online resources
> that would be helpful for managing artwork in a Records Center/Business
> environment? Thanks.
> Rob Seibolt, CRM
> Supervisor-Records Management
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University of West Florida Library
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