|Good exhibits grow from strong administrative tools and|
strong collections like this at the George Peabody House Museum
- Create a collection development policy to strengthen collections, engage the community and pursue grants. Review administrative materials for collections. Perform a survey of records and artifacts collections. Note gaps in records. Note areas where collections can be stronger.
- Using the information garnered in an initial collection review, create a plan for appropriate rotating exhibit themes. For example, if there are many materials related to World War Two and the soldiers, this might be considered for an exhibit. Design exhibit ideas with an eye toward your town's cultural heritage.
- Record information about the Historical Society’s exhibits. Take photographs, record society members’ memories about exhibits, and use any appropriate administrative information that tells more about collections to ensure that the Historical Society’s past exhibition history is remembered.
- Redesign exhibit spaces keeping in mind themes by subjects or dates and based on the exhibit theme plan. Create a space plan that incorporates existing display cases and recommends new furniture if necessary. Discuss how to make the exhibits more interactive and engaging. Create or help create appropriate labels for new displays that places items in context.
- Create a space plan for storage of materials when they are not on display. Recommend appropriate furniture etcetera. Discuss the different needs of archives versus objects.
- Review the Society’s current procedures and create a formal procedure manual. Include information about creating finding aids and other indexing tools. Add a section for creating appropriate exhibits. Review and update procedures for labeling items. Add information and resources for creating programs launched from exhibits.
- Make recommendations for the preservation and conservation of collection items in need of repair and better maintenance. Add information about the preservation needs of the collection to the Society’s procedure manual. Discuss how exhibits can lend themselves to collection wear and how this can be addressed.
- Create a volunteer manual that provides information about finding and managing volunteers. Discuss the appropriate diverse roles for volunteers in the institution and how to generate volunteer enthusiasm.
- Look to the future and consider all of the above to create a long range plan. Once the institution puts its on-site procedures in order, it should consider reaching out, which involves creating an outreach plan and establishing some social media policies.