CSI: Registrars

by Allyson Lazar

all photos copyright by lidja


Ever wonder what 11 trained museum collections professionals can accomplish in one day? The San Diego Air and Space Museum found out when they hosted CSI:Registrars, the RC-WR-sponsored pre-conference volunteer event on Saturday October 24. (CSI stands for Collections Services Initiative.)

Following an introduction to the collections, library and archives by our hosts, Karen and Katrina, we rolled up our sleeves and got busy examining what was out on display, inventorying archival (2D) materials and condition checking curatorial (3D) objects.


After lunch, we broke up into groups so we could:

Inventory a collection of women in flight;


Rehouse archival material;

And clean the library in preparation for installing a new HVAC system.

As we worked throughout the day, we chatted with each other and with Karen and Katrina from the Museum, getting to know one another and sharing experiences.

By the end of the day, large dents had been made in projects that the SDAM staff had been just waiting for the right set of volunteers to tackle. And as for the volunteers, we were tired (and some of us were very dirty), but we felt that great sense of accomplishment that comes from knowing you've helped out a fantastic organization!

Where will the CSI: Registrars show up next? What kinds of challenges will they tackle at the next venue? That's all still to be determined. But there's one thing that is certain: bringing professional volunteers together with museums in need for a day of work and networking is a win-win solution!




I cannot thank the CSI volunteer group enough. As head archivist at the San Diego Air & Space Museum, their work was greatly appreciated and valued not only by our staff but by our many volunteers. The group accomplished a lot in the short time that they were here and completed projects that we had wanted to do for years. Many thanks from the staff and volunteers at the San Diego Air & Space Museum's Library & Archives.

IMHO, this is one of the highlights of this year's conference - fantastic project, great people, and excellent coordination! Thanks Allyson and Jacqueline for putting it together! And thanks to all the participants. I had a great time getting to know everyone, even if I spent most of my time behind the lens instead of in the mix. =]

Allyson, this is such a great post. It is a amazing to think that ppl go to a conference to WORK?! Do we love what we do that much?! what a great field to be in. Here's to museum work, and ppl who care!

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