Museology Master of Arts Program

June 12, 2015

Road Signs: A Preservation, Restoration, and Operation of Museum Vehicles Best Practices Toolkit for LeMay—America’s Car Museum

Master’s Project by Jerry Smith (2015)

This project addressed the issue of formalized best practices regarding museum automobile preservation, restoration and operation by collections caretakers at the LeMay—America’s Car Museum (ACM), located in Tacoma, Washington. Although these activities were an important part of automobile collections care management, there appeared to be few readily accessible field- wide published standards to assist automotive museums, or museums with automobiles within their collections, in collections care, planning and utilization. Information regarding best practices in use by professionals in the field was gathered through interviews and site visits. Seven professionals were interviewed at six collections: LeMay—America’s Car Museum, Tacoma, Washington; The Revs Institute (museum), Naples, Florida; The Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, Michigan; The Simeone Foundation Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; The GM Heritage Center (corporate collection), Sterling Heights, Michigan; The Bulgari Collection (private collection), Allentown, Pennsylvania. The result of the project was a set of best practice guidelines titled: “Preservation, Restoration and Operation of Museum Automobiles: A Suggested Best Practices Toolkit.” The Toolkit was designed to assist in collections management and curation decision-making, as well as to provide a mechanism for explaining decisions to personnel outside of the collections department at ACM. The Toolkit was also intended to be applicable to any museum with an automobile collection.

 

Keywords: project, collections, vehicles

Citation:

Smith, J. (2015). Road Signs: A Preservation, Restoration, and Operation of Museum Vehicles Best Practices Toolkit for LeMay—America’s Car Museum. Unpublished master’s project, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.