I think that I can understand your frustrations, but you merely
underline the problems for curators - staff absence with no backfilling,
overwork, inadequate facilities, etc. You also make it clear that your
requests are not as informative as they may be. If you are going to see a
specific item commonsense dictates that you point it out to the other
person. Museums are, funnily enough, not given the luxury of only having to
worry about one audience - they also receive endless enquiries from ordinary
mortals which are every bit as important and just as difficult to fulfill.
At the rate we are going within twenty years there will be no
publicly funded museums services in this country unless something dramatic
changes. Museums need to be more carefully defined and NOBODY should be
allowed to run them without the appropriate qualifications. But of course,
museums can be run by any tom, dick or harriet....