Author Archives: Stephen Lang


I visited the National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka (MINPAKU).  It was incredible. see: They had a design award in their lobby prominently displayed and I found out why.   The museum galleries are just packed with objects of every kind and sort. The majority of the material seemed to be from the 18th century […]

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Planes, trains, and buses.

Well I made it to Japan in one piece.  The journey was not very pleasant, even though I did get to fly business class.  This sometimes happens when the borrowing institution wants you to be able to get some sleep on the plane, particularly when there isn’t much time to get over jet lag.  I […]

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Courier Trips

Courier Trips. If you peruse the admin meeting minutes you may notice that every so often a registrar or keeper is away on a courier trip. What are these trips and what do they entail? The answer varies widely depending on the section and the final destination. Courier trips occur when we loan an institution […]

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Secrets of the Silk Road

I got my first look at the “Secrets of the Silk Road” exhibition now at the Bowers Museum and it looked great! The show opens at the Penn Museum on February 5, 2011 so mark your calendars.   I took the audio tour which was included with the price and well worth a listen. […]

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Reports from the Field

Well, I’m back after a nice little trip to the west coast.  I will be providing some links to topics of interest I found enlightening while at AAM.  Hopefully this will shed some light on the current state of museums as well as some perspective on what keepers deal with on a daily, monthly, and […]

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The sites

A bit of a photo dump from the trip so far.

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The Expo Floor

Animatronics, wax figures, 3-D movies, live bats, actors in costumes, no this isn’t Disneyland, it’s the AAM Expo Floor! And what AAM conference is complete without it? Where else can you talk to Indiana Jones and then haggle over the price of compact storage units? Or get shown the latest technology in audio handsets before […]

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When sessions go bad

So far I have had pretty good luck with picking useful sessions to attend at the conference. This can be tricky. It’s really easy to write a title that will get people interested in the session you are chairing. It’s really hard to find three other people who can talk to that issue and give […]

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Other Museums

Once of the nice things about AAM is that you get to see other museums while you are in a different city. You also get to see how they do things differently. Yesterday we went to LACMA and the La Brea tar pits. Both were pretty impressive. The tar pits were about why I expected […]

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The social tags talk was quite good. It was made up of participants in the Steve Project which allows museums to use their software to let the public tag their online objects. These tags can help users at the site find objects that may have been harder to find with only the data in […]

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  • Penn Museum

Beneath the Surface at the Penn Museum