I am so vicariously excited about the recent APG Museum acquisition!
The CECOM historians are part of the APG Museum council, and we get to go to fun briefings about the museum. They have guest speakers, updates on the museum progress, interesting information about the collection, and it’s a good chance to get out of the “history cave” (as I call our office) and meet other people working in the humanities.
At the meeting the other week, the presentation included information about museum storage cabinets. I know, I know — readers are thinking “Why are you telling us about someone else’s furniture?” Because it’s amazingly resourceful and cool furniture, and I want our office to be so resourceful, too.
Check out the photo if you don’t believe me:
Not convinced yet?
The APG Museum acquired 50 Viking brand cabinets in 2 different models from the National Museum of Health and Medicine, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. That museum is undergoing a major renovation, and had 80 excess cabinets, free to the first Army museum that responded. The APG Museum responded, and made 2 trips with 2 trucks, and got 50 of them; which Director Gail Fuller assured us was “more than enough.”
These cabinets can cost between $3,000-5,000 each! This acquisition, while not necessarily as exciting as getting a donation from every APG tenant organization on the same day, is still a huge deal. They acquired between $150,000 and $250,000 worth of needed equipment at no cost to taxpayers.
Museums need specialized equipment. It’s important that when artifacts are not on display, they are housed and stored properly. It ensures that when exhibits rotate (to “rest” the artifacts, to highlight different parts of the collection, etc), the ones coming out of storage will be in good condition, and the materials returning to storage will stay in good condition. Preservation is a hard game because even under optimal conditions, everything – whether it’s a paper archive or a three dimensional museum object – breaks down over time.
Can you sense my excitement? Well, in the rare instance that saving the Army upwards of a quarter-million dollars is not your favorite topic, I’ve got plans for the next APG Museum blog. It’s ENIAC related, so keep checking in for more on the history of technology.
Have any materials in your collection that you think could be an APG artifact? Contact APG Museum Director Gail Fuller and she and her team can come to your location and access any items, from tiny little parts of equipment to macroartifacts and vehicles. Their goal is to represent the history of innovation and technology as it happened here on APG. Gail can be reached via phone at (410) 306-2669 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.