Perian Sully is the Collections Information Manager and Web Programs Strategist at the Magnes, and Program Chair for the American Association of Museums' Media and Technology Standing Professional Committee. She graduated from the John F. Kennedy Museum Studies program in 2006, earning her M.A. by writing about the evolution of collection records management and technology. Perian's route to becoming a museum collections/technology professional began when she discovered that her studies in Environmental Biology just weren't for her and she traveled the world until she decided to become a 3-D game artist. Fortunately, she wasn't very good at computer-generated art either, but her undergraduate work-study jobs at the University of California, Davis slide library and Richard L. Nelson Gallery showed her that perhaps museums were just the thing. When she's not trying to save the world one collection record at a time, Perian studies historical fashion, creates elaborate clothing and costumes, and makes interestingly-flavoured chocolates using such ingredients as lavender or bacon. She also blogs on Musematic, a professional blog devoted to exploring technology use in the cultural heritage sector.
I just returned from the American Association of Museums Annual Conference in Philadelphia. Our session, “Bridging the ALM Divide: An Integrated Archive-Library-Museum Approach for Hybrid Institutions”, highlighted an important project the Magnes is currently working on. The Magnes has a large collection of objects in the museum, a significant amount of documentary materials in the archives, and a significant holding of thousands of rare books and manuscripts. Over the years, these materials have not been cataloged consistently, nor has it been at all easy for researchers to discover related materials across the whole institution. In response to this problem, we decided to adopt a new type of collection management system to help us catalog materials in one centralized database, but according to the professional standards museum, archive, and library materials require.
I really try hard not to start bawling at work, I really do. But sometimes, you can’t help but get choked up at the beauty of the objects in our care, and the stories which accompany them. That’s what happened to me today. We’d been filming a documentary about the Magnes, its collections, and some [...]
Welcome to opensource, a new blog dedicated to exposing and discussing the goings on within the Judah L. Magnes Museum. Authored by Magnes staff, opensource is intended to explore a number of different topics, including: Jewish history and art events and programs we are attending or producing stories about our collections new initiatives we’re exploring [...]