Let’s take a general look at how the site visit works.
Consultants Michael Henry and Wendy Jessup have a long history of partnering on CAP projects. His firm, Watson & Henry Associates, specializes in the research, documentation, analysis and preservation of historic structures and engineering related to historic structures. Her firm, Wendy Jessup & Associates, specializes in preventive conservation, collections management consulting, and planning services to museums and other stewards of cultural and historic property.
Their team approach – combining individual areas of expertise with collaborative assessment and report writing – provides a holistic view of the Society’s assets and risks regarding collections. The June 24-26 site visit included an opening meeting with staff and trustees; a collections space tour led by the Collections Manager and a volunteer; observances of reading room, staff and volunteer activity; documentation review, such as organizational charts and collections management policies; meetings with facilities managers and engineering staff; hands-on collections inspections; and a close-out meeting where initial recommendations and observations were offered.
Staff and volunteers integral to the three-day site visit included Laura Barry, Dave Wood, Adam Lewis, John Suau and Anne McDonough. HSW trustees Julie Koczela, Elizabeth Ratigan and Toni Lee, along with Collections Committee co-chair Mary Beth Corrigan, met with the consultants during the visit, making a clear statement as to the Society’s commitment to collections care.
Next: CAP recommendations made during the site visit that Society implemented immediately. See Part III.