The main goal of the Registration Office is to register and document the permanent collection (including new acquisitions) as well as temporary loans that may be coming or going for exhibitions or research. We use specialized collections management software to integrate and automate collections documentation for the various disciplines at the museum. We work in collaboration with a number of other sections, including Conservation, Human History, Natural History, Public Programming and Exhibits.
We negotiate the fine details of both incoming and outgoing loans for research and exhibits, including the loan agreements, insurance, packing and shipping arrangements, and standards of care. We manage activities for the Collections Committee operation, and handle the documentation associated with acquisitions, such as deed of gifts forms, thank-you letters and tax receipts. We also manage the corporation’s files relating to acquisitions, deaccessioning or outgoing transfers of objects, as well as the museum’s institutional CITES (Endangered Species) permit, and we arrange for any other cultural property or wildlife permits and documentation that may be required when any objects, specimens or records travel across international borders. We provide liaison between museum functions such as Conservation and Exhibits, when objects are borrowed for temporary exhibits.
A day in the life of a registrar might include attending a planning meeting, assisting with the installation of an exhibit, creating digital photographs of artifacts, performing data entry functions, packing artifacts for a loan, developing a standards policy, providing a statistical analysis of a collections profile, assisting with the inventory of artifacts at our one of our off-site warehouses or performing preventative conservation assessments or treatments to archival records. The work often involves the use of technology, but it is the human touch and a passion for the work that is the essential ingredient we bring to the tasks at hand.