Auxiliary collections issues

Sally Shelton Shelton.Sally at NMNH.SI.EDU
Thu Apr 15 07:36:10 CDT 1999

Richard Rabeler sent the following excellent question as part of
planning for the 1999 SPNHC meeting. I'm posting it here with his
permission to see how much interest there is in it, not only for the
SPNHC meeting but as a larger issue, and what particular concerns have
arisen along these lines. I know that the issue is very important for
us at the NMNH, with collections in many media (illustrative, AV,
etc.). Cheers, Sally Shelton

I thought of a topic that might be worth a few minutes of discussion
the various SIGS at the Washington meeting.

Who in a museum curates what I would call "auxillary" collections?
example, the University of Michigan Herbarium has a large collection
reprints, many acquired from researchers who used our collection and
then send a copy of the resulting publication(s).  It has also grown
faculty have retired and given their collections to the Herbarium.

It's a valuable collection, but peripheral to our main mission.
Responsibility for curating it is fuzzy at best.  Who (secretarial
curatorial staff, students, etc.) curates such collections at other

I think this may be a very important question as resources become
slimmer in the future.

Rich Rabeler
University of Michigan Herbarium
<rabeler at>

Sall Shelton
Collections Officer, NMNH
<shelton.sally at>

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