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In the Attic of the 45th ID Museum in Oklahoma City.


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blackhawkdown

I agree, it's a shame most of that collection is really just lost to the collecting community. These museums should refuse common or duplicate items. I would only donate a truly historical item to a museum. Most people don't realize that grandpas uniform will never be seen again.

Thanks for sharing, interesting yet sad to see.

 

quote name="ww2relichunter" post="1337530" timestamp="1367187935"]These are amazing i just find it a shame that all theese items just sit their i feel they would be so much better of in collectors hands who would actually be able to appreciate each piece as a gem, instead of them being their to just sit around and never be seen or enjoyed !! just my 2 cents !!

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Been there but did not realize there was so much stuff in storage.

Same here...I'd pay 5x the admission price to see the attic though!

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ludwigh1980

Maybe the "state" (I lump all U.S. Govt and State institutions in this word) could solve the so called sequester by having an auction with all of the "artifacts" in storage. :D

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pchepurko

They need to take better care of what they have. I see that many of the helmets and hats are not stored properly.

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Typical museum storage room. I too feel that all duplical items should be sold to help offset the cost for the up-keep of the museums collections. The stuff in the back room is doing nothing for anyone. Many museums are able to sell dupicates but do not. They just let the back room stuff rot. I believe it would be better off in the hands of private collections as they have an incentive to take care of it(monitary investment).

Terry

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It's like letting a kid loose in a candy store but telling him he can't have any. :unsure:

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Wow, that is a lot of stuff and to think of the wasted gems. At the very least you would think they would hold a sale and allow other museums and non-profits to purchase the items in order to fill their own collections on display. Could you imagine the revenue from that room alone? If it were better kept and preserved, I could see the hoard justified but it looks like a thrift store.

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Hello all, I thought I would opine here on behalf of the museum and its staff. As many of you already know, a lot of museum people are volunteers with the professionals being in administrative positions. Many of the "pro's" are museum science people and not historians or experts in the types of items in the collections. So, for these types its easier to just collect and store than it is to sell and find out later they made a mistake. So, that is one very common scenario.

The next issue is ethics and morality. Museum best practices as governed by the American Association of Museums dictates that a museum can ethically sell items with the proceeds being used for the collection. Where it becomes unethical is when the proceeds get used for operations or payroll etc... So, that being said, lets say they sell the duplicates and then invest in preserving the core collection. This seems great on the surface but preservation is defined as a function of operations and therefore this could be construed as an unethical sale... So you see the potential dilemma.

You say, why not just use the money for more items? Well, again you run into the museum quandry of "we accept donations" or " as a museum we cannot give appraisals, so we would rather not make an offer that could be construed as an appraisal..." And now you have a couple of the common reasons why museums don't sell. It just takes one mistake or one bad deal to ruin a good reputation. I actually took many museum science courses while completing my masters and was really interested to learn the why's and why nots of many institutions. Hope this sheds a bit of light and it certainly doesn't mean that there aren't museums that have good policies for dealing with excess items. These are just some general guidelines. Scott.

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Jack's Son

This has been an amazing walk through a museum storage rooms. I wounded if this is common?

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This has been an amazing walk through a museum storage rooms. I wounded if this is common?

 

 

More than you know

 

A friend worked two summers as an intern at museums.One was our state museum one was the Smithsonian.THis was back in the early 1970s.His job at the Smithsonian was to open and catalog items that were in storage.What he was opening were crates sent back from the western plains dating back to the late 1800s.

 

All Indian artifacts.Clothing,weapons,tools,head dress,every day items.THings that had never seen the light of day.It was like christmas for him.He would catalog the items,place a copy with the crate(s)and file a copy.They were re-sealed and stored.

 

At the state museum he spoke of the items stored in the old steam tunnels that ran below the building.Boxes of uniforms that were damaged and ruined as these tunnels had flooded.Many were of the Civil War to Span Am era.One room in the complex had CW muskets and Trapdoors stacked around the walls from the door frame all around the walls back to the door.He said they were 8-10 deep or better.THere were water marks on the stocks at leat 8 inches high where these tunnels and rooms had flooded over the years.Just a fact of poor storage.Several years ago they were cleaning out the old building moving to the new and it made the news that construction workers found a lot of items form the old building in dumpsters.

 

One of the local museums sold off a lot of the military duplicates that were not being used.Broke up a 7 trunk group to a two war officer plus a lot of WW1 items.THis was sold off at a show in Wisconsin.I understand museum have the right to sell it but if its a sanctioned sale why take it out of state.Would have been nice to offer it to local collectors as the items were from area veterans.This too could be they wanted to get it out of the area as to not set off the alarm and hurt the "donation" train.But if you would explain why the sale was done most people I would think would understand the situation.In my mind the way it was handled opens more questions than providing answers.

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That is the reason doyler, don't want to hurt donations. Many museums are in a tight spot. One I help off and on is in an old historic building that there contract states the fees for using the space is they have to pay for the mantainence. Do you know how much they have to come up with every year? They had to put a roof on a few years ago and it was like $50,000 if I remember correctly. Now the eves have to be replaced and since it is a historical place it has to be done just like it was 140 years ago. One corner cost I think, $15,000 or some crazy amount. They are always working on getting grants (which are drying up) but have to raise more money themselves.

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I wasn't going to go here but isn't it odd that we can all criticize a museum for poor storage, too many duplicates, items never seeing the light of day, etc.... But how many here have more than two of the same item? How many wear gloves and have UV protection, acid free sleeves, archival glass, perfect climate control, I would venture to say not many. We all love and comment favorably on the members displays but few are really up to the standards that museums hold themselves to ( although many do look better than museum displays I have seen.)

I guess what I am saying is, its easy to criticize the museum and find fault, but really we would just like to have the items they have and get them for free. There is actually no governing body that requires anything from a museum other than a board of directors or perhaps in the case of a state or government run museum some regulations. So like collectors, they can do as they please and store as they please because once donated, the items belong to them. A museum that has items that never see the light of day isn't that much different than a reclusive collector that never shares his collection out of fear. Scott.

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I volunteered at our local museum for a number of years. The amount of work that needs to be done with the funds available is overwhelming. Where do you start? We ran off a very small budget and very little donations. I started preserving the paper objects with PVC free sleeves and inserting acid free paper between the sheets. Nothing high tech just time consuming. This was for the one of the 1st SGT's of a troop of cavalry that rode with Teddy Roosevelt. Who went on to become an officer and serve in a machine gun company in WW1. Very historical stuff. We too like every other museum in the United States have store rooms of this stuff. We were fortunate to get an updated HVAC unit as this building also has our community center with an indoor pool, clorine destroys just about everything with time. I guess my point is there is always more work to be done at a museum but there are never enough funds or personel to get the job done correctly. And that Nazi flag with the 45th ID patch and roster is killer.

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I wasn't going to go here but isn't it odd that we can all criticize a museum for poor storage, too many duplicates, items never seeing the light of day, etc.... But how many here have more than two of the same item? How many wear gloves and have UV protection, acid free sleeves, archival glass, perfect climate control, I would venture to say not many. We all love and comment favorably on the members displays but few are really up to the standards that museums hold themselves to ( although many do look better than museum displays I have seen.)

I guess what I am saying is, its easy to criticize the museum and find fault, but really we would just like to have the items they have and get them for free. There is actually no governing body that requires anything from a museum other than a board of directors or perhaps in the case of a state or government run museum some regulations. So like collectors, they can do as they please and store as they please because once donated, the items belong to them. A museum that has items that never see the light of day isn't that much different than a reclusive collector that never shares his collection out of fear. Scott.

Well said.

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badash5946

And lastly one of they many, many flags.

 

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This flag is sooo outstanding and historical! I hope that it gets to see the light of display-day.

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1SG_1st_Cav

 

I was a Trustee of the 1st Cavalry Division Museum. They are only able to display about 10-15% of what they have because of space & funding. We are looking at a new museum by 2018.

You also have to look at the "Intent of the Donor". If they donor of the item states that he will donate the item only if it will be displayed, the "Intent of the Donor' must be kept. But if a donor just drops items off without a written "Intent of Donor" statement, the museum can pretty much do what they want with the items. Danny

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I was a Trustee of the 1st Cavalry Division Museum. They are only able to display about 10-15% of what they have because of space & funding. We are looking at a new museum by 2018.

You also have to look at the "Intent of the Donor". If they donor of the item states that he will donate the item only if it will be displayed, the "Intent of the Donor' must be kept. But if a donor just drops items off without a written "Intent of Donor" statement, the museum can pretty much do what they want with the items. Danny

 

Danny that is only partially true. If the donor leaves an unrestricted donation then the museum does have many options, however, if the donor takes a tax write off, then the museum must keep the item by law for a specified period of time. As I tried to lay out in my statement above, there are just too many reasons why museums choose to house things rather than release them. one of the main reasons is that there are too many "what if" situations that can come up later and give a good institution a bad reputation, and mostly by accident or simple lack of knowledge. I guess if they just come through to door and drop the items and walk anything can happen though... I bet you get to see some fantastic stuff at the 1st Cav Museum, sounds great! Scott

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  • 1 month later...
camelgreen44

I know of a local family here in Texas that donated some wwI marine stuff belonging to their Grandfather to a local town / Historical society,Including his uniform. I want to print this and let them read it.do you think theres any chance of getting it back from them? If its not on display?

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I know of a local family here in Texas that donated some wwI marine stuff belonging to their Grandfather to a local town / Historical society,Including his uniform. I want to print this and let them read it.do you think theres any chance of getting it back from them? If its not on display?

 

 

You generally have two chances of ever getting something back from a museum if it's been donated to them:

  • Slim
  • None

:(

Case in point, this dairy had a demand to return it to the owner's girl if something happened. Decades later, said girl (now an old woman) spots the dairy that clearly says to be returned to her in a museum. Museum tells her to ake a hike when she asks for it back as the owner had written for it to be so: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/05/27/90-year-old-woman-finds-teen-sweethearts-diary-in-world-war-ii-museum/

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