Saturday, November 13, 2010

Support for the Anti-Preservationists from UK Museums?

The hate-blogging metal detectorist calling himself for some reason Candice Jarman claims he has the support of members of staff of UK museums:
I have also received an email from someone who works in a UK public museum (quite a big one) who tells me that they are so short staffed that they just don't have time to chase up all the loans of objects made to researchers - and some items are never returned by the academics who borrow them! What happens to these I wonder?
"Loans" of objects for researchers? I thought the whole point of the argument for having private collections was that those who want to research objects like coins cannot spend all day in the students' rooms of museums doing so, they must have the objects on their kitchen table. But here we learn that there is a policy of lending objects out for that very purpose. I wonder how many of the missing objects are COINS? What a shame Candice does not - in the public interest - reveal the name of this under-resourced museum.

He does however have a go a Peter Tompa's compatriots, dragging out a 2005 article propagating the shocking findings of "Heritage Preservation", a Washington-based conservation group. According to this article, their 2005 (so before the current financial crisis) report asserts that in the United States many public collections are threatened by poor environmental controls, improper storage, inadequate staffing and financing and poor planning for emergencies like floods.

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