I quite liked Diana Briscoe's list of reasons why researchers find
collections so difficult to access... the best smile I've had all day...
So in the spirit of co-operation (and with tongue firmly in cheek), here is
Mark's top 5 list of "Things you can do to get better access to museum
1. Treat the museum staff nicely. Calling the education officer "that idiot
who's bothers with children" does not, surprisingly, endear you to the
curators (or said education officer, who's got a loooonggg memory...).
2. Try to turn up at the museum at the right time/on the right day/right
week/right decade. We get tired lunking all those boxes of pottery etc
backwards and forwards from the shelves for you, only for you to cancel your
visit without telling us...
3. Don't break the documentation computer by spilling the fizzy drink you
smuggled into the store, against instructions, down the back of the
4. When phoning a museum, try not to scream and swear things like "you
*********, where is that box of medieval floor tiles you're supposed to
have", and then put the phone down. Especially when you've phoned the wrong
museum, and the staff answering the phone have no idea what you're on
and finally (being serious for a moment)
5. The briefest word of thanks goes a long way...
----- Original Message -----
From: D.C. Briscoe <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: 13 March 2001 22:43
Subject: Re: Archaeological research in Museums [longish]
Because the first reaction is:
"Terribly sorry, the curator is on holiday / has just gone on maternity
leave / has just been made redundant. Could you ring us in 6 months?'