Words of Wisdom
"A record is a concert without halls and a museum whose curator is the owner."
– Glenn Gould
The Alaska Regional Office curatorial staff help care for the thousands of natural and cultural objects that are associated with Alaska’s parks; these precious “pieces of the parks” are preserved and maintained in perpetuity on behalf of the American people. These items have important uses; many are made available to the public in National Park museum exhibits but the great majority serve scientists and other researchers who wish to understand the stories told by the parks’ natural and cultural resources.
Curators inventory, register, and catalog museum collections. They also study and document the items in their care and provide appropriate conservation treatment when necessary. Much of their work centers on maintaining a stable and protected storage environment for the objects so that these items can survive the centuries and be available for both study and enjoyment by future generations.
The staff, under the leadership of the Senior Curator, provides professional guidance and technical assistance to the Alaska parks in the management of museum collections. The Alaska Region Curatorial Center (ARCC), the largest National Park Service museum repository in Alaska is located in the Alaska Regional Office and houses specimens from nearly all the Alaska National parks. Currently, the ARCC cares for over 1 million museum archives and objects, including 450,000 natural and cultural items such as artifacts, fossils, and plant specimens. Because the ARCC contains fire safes and other specialized museum storage features, the center houses fragile video, film, and photographic records on behalf of the parks in the Alaska Region. In addition, the center provides secure and carefully designed curatorial work and lab space for the proper study and treatment of museum items.