Army Curators Study History at Fort Sam Houston
August 24, 2007
By Minnie Jones
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Army News Service, Aug. 24, 2007) - More than 30 museum curators, senior staff members and museum technicians from Army museums nationwide met at Fort Sam Houston's Army Medical Department Museum Aug. 14 for the first Basic Curatorial Methods Training course in almost five years.
Staff members and experts from the Center of Military History in Washington taught the course, which covered Army historical property and accountability, including museum property management, classification, nomenclature, registration, cataloging and digitization of Army historical artifacts and fine art.
Participants also learned how to use the Army Historical Catalog Accountability System to meet Army's statutory and regulatory requirements. Property book officers use the program to register historical property, research and catalog artifacts, take inventory, upload and view imagery, search and read documentation, and print standardized forms.
"This system is unique to the Army and helps curators identify, properly account for and properly take care of their collection," said Dennis Mroczkowski, chief of the collections branch, Military Division of the Center of Military History. "More importantly, the system provides a tool for the Center of Military History to look at what exists out there, in all of the museums and historical holdings that we have.
"The main thing I hope that people get from the course is that they are all part of a large system," added Mr. Mroczkowski. "Yes, they are working in individual museums someplace, on a particular post, and they have a specific mission, but all of that ties back into the whole Army museum system within the Center of Military History."
Museum curators help preserve military history, primarily focusing on acquiring, caring for, displaying and interpreting works of art.
"I was very happy to be able to come in so early since I was interested in seeing what the Army military standards are - not that they are too different from everyone else's, but they do have their own language," said Kathleen Ransden, Tropic Lighting Museum, Honolulu.
According to John Manguso, the Fort Sam Houston Museum director, Fort Sam Houston was chosen to host the event for several reasons: "We have good training facilities here and good year-round weather. There are lots of things to do in San Antonio, and because we are part of the Army Medical Department Center and School we have an academic inclination in what we do. Tom McMasters, director of the AMEDD Museum, was instrumental in having the course taught here."
(Minnie Jones is a public affairs officer with the Fort Sam Houston Public Information Office.)