Conservation Works

In the cycle of life in the federal government, we have passed the halfway point for fiscal year 2018, which runs from October 1, 2017, through September 30, 2018. At our level of the organization, the South Florida Collections Management Center staff is working to wrap up projects funded in previous years, finish contracting of projects funded in this fiscal year, and looking ahead to a new group of interns and seasonal employees joining us this spring and summer.

Here's a peek behind the curtains of how we get work accomplished. Most of the preservation work that we do with a staff of three or four permanent employees would only get done through contracts and agreements with professionals in the private business community or through agreements with universities and professional organizations, such as the National Council on Preservation Education. Every year in the National Park Service park staff submit projects for consideration for various kinds of funding. In the museum world most projects are to fund plans (such as museum emergency operations plans or integrated pest management plans); conservation treatment (of rusty metal objects or deteriorating film negatives, for instance); or digitization of objects for preservation and access.

This is good news for the public providing the funds through annual appropriations from Congress and from recreation fees paid by visitors. Not only are we able to assure the American people that we are caring for museum and archival collections "unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations" but increasingly we are able to provide access to the material through digital copies and web sites (this one and others). Though we enjoy welcoming visitors to our national parks, we also realize that it is not always possible for researchers to come to us, and that we will fulfill our mission as a multi-park museum facility by increasing our commitment to provide access to our collections and to provide outreach activities so that visitors can enjoy more of our collections through online exhibits and digitized content.

Stay tuned!

Jim Williams
Museum Curator

Last updated: April 30, 2018