Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Museum Resource Center?
The Museum Resource Center (MRCE) is responsible for the care and preservation of museum objects that are held in trust for the public. The Center's mission is to provide guidance and assistance on caring for museum objects, related structures and exhibits. Currently, the Center is responsible for the care of over one million artifacts - collections from the National Capital Region which comprise historical, archeological, ethnographic, biological, geological, and paleontological materials.
What are the areas in which the Museum Resource Center can provide both direct and indirect support?
- Accountability — Developing a catalog of the location of each individual object, the object name, the description, the condition, the value, and other important information, such as where the object originally came from. The significance of the object, as it relates to the park or site that it comes from, determines how an object will be used. If an object is original to the park or the person or event that the park represents, it has more associational value or significance than a period piece (one that was made at the same time, but has no direct relationship to the park). This information is then computerized for ease of accessibility and accountability.
- Preservation — In the field of preservation, the term "agent of deterioration" is used to identify the different types of things that can harm or degrade an object.
- Training — Provide specialized training, cross-training, both formal and informal, and on and off-site to employees, other agencies, and visiting professionals from other countries.
- Exhibits — Develop and review of exhibit plans as well as production exhibits.
- Research — Provide methods of accessing and using collections and collections' related materials for use in interpretive programs, exhibits, publications, and multimedia.
- Acquisition — Assist parks in acquiring objects that are significant to telling the park's story.
- Accreditation — Assist parks with evaluating and maintaining professional standards of museum operations in accordance with the National Park Service and the American Association of Museums.
- New Technology — Develop and circulate latest information on environmental, security, fire, housekeeping, lighting, pest management and exhibits.