Museum thoughts?

Ian S. King isking at
Wed Oct 19 23:15:17 CDT 2016

On Wed, Oct 19, 2016 at 8:05 PM, <COURYHOUSE at> wrote:

> Hi Mouse -
> running a museum project   is  fun but also a lot of   work.
> here is a little  framework to think about and discuss  Ed# at  SMECC .
> you rent or  buy a building  ($$$$ !)
> or...
> place displays in other's premises (can work if  they  protct  your gear)
> (property, liability, employee)
> ( winter is your enemy, summer is ours in AZ)
> (when in doubt, lock it under glass)
>  Great  to  have  so you are not  the only one  chained to the  entry desk,
> employees  cost $$$  volunteers no salary  -            either can  be a
> blessing or a curse if  you get a bad one
> In a message dated 10/19/2016 7:41:07 P.M. US Mountain Standard Time,
> mouse at Rodents-Montreal.ORG writes:
> There's  someone local who's seen my assortment of computer hardware
> twice and has,  each time, told me I should set up a museum.
> This is tempting, but I  don't know the first thing about doing it.
> About all I'm sure of is that it  would involve a lot of stuff I
> currently have no idea of.
> I know  that there are at least a few people here who've been involved
> in such  things.  While all the examples that come to mind are in the
> USA, and  mine would be in Canada, I'm sure there are many respects in
> which the  issues are jurisdiction-independent - and, who knows, there
> may be such a  person in Canada that I just can't recall offhand.
> So, I'm wondering if  there's anyone who'd be willing to share
> experiences, thoughts, issues,  whatever, on the possibility.
> I'm not looking to make a lot of money  off this.  If I can turn my
> computers from money-sink to  money-neutral, I'll be content.  (They are
> currently soaking up money  in the form of causing me to be renting
> significantly more storage than I  would be if they were to vanish.)
> /~\ The ASCII       Mouse
> \ / Ribbon  Campaign
> X  Against HTML         mouse at
> / \ Email!         7D  C8 61 52 5D E7 2D 39  4E F1 31 3E E8 B3 27  4B

So, having done this with a big purse :-) I will endorse the old saying,
"The way to make a small fortune in the museum business is to start with a
large one."  Having met a lot of folks who have done this in some semblance
or another, here is my advice.

Hours by appointment, so that you aren't a slave to it.  Even if you can
find volunteers, because you don't want to burn them out, either.

Seek educational/public interest donations, rather than counting on
donations from attendees.  I have no experience with the visitor-funded
approach, but I have doubts.

Figure out how to offer a unique experience AND pitch it to local media.
Buy them beers.

If you can tie into local legislators (I've done this), that's a plus,
because they know people with money (which is how they get elected).

If you can tell a potential donor's story well, that encourages the
potential donor.  Here's where you can end up selling your soul.

Some thoughts, YMMV.  Cheers -- Ian

Ian S. King, MSIS, MSCS, Ph.D. Candidate
The Information School <>
Dissertation: "Why the Conversation Mattered: Constructing a Sociotechnical
Narrative Through a Design Lens

Archivist, Voices From the Rwanda Tribunal <>
Value Sensitive Design Research Lab <>

University of Washington

There is an old Vulcan saying: "Only Nixon could go to China."

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