Terri Anderson is swapping history collections for art when she joins the Corcoran Gallery of Art next week as a Contract Registrar to help them migrate their collections database from Filemaker to TMS (The Museum System). For the past five years, she has focused her work on collections management at the 29 National Trust Historic Sites as the John and Neville Bryan Director of Collections at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, where she also taught collections management for George Washington University and became one of the national leaders on the challenges of deaccessioning collections at historic sites. With this transition, I thought it would be a good time to capture some of her thoughts about managing collections at historic sites.
Max: You’ve been managing the collections of the National Trust for the last five years–what have been the major successes?
Terri: Our most visible successes were opening several Sites to the public for the first time, including the Philip Johnson Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut; President Lincoln’s Cottage in Washington, DC; and Villa Finale in San Antonio, Texas. Each of these Site openings required many important decisions about collections stewardship and access, and each Site demanded a different approach: one size did not fit all.
At the same time, we had successes that, while less visible, were important to me and the parties involved. We did a lot of great work with thoughtful, appropriate deaccessions at several of our Sites. I wrote about our experiences in Continue reading