NMSC began this blog in 2010 with a focus on archeology collections. We are gratified by the number of people who have taken the time to read our blog, and appreciate all of the comments both complimentary and critical. In the process of maintaining this blog, we have frequently been asked, “What is NMSC?”
When many people think of the National Park Service, they think of the huge, majestic parks out west: Yellowstone, Yosemite, Glacier. Some people do not realize that the National Park Service also includes many small, historic homes and sites that exist to preserve and interpret various events and individuals from our nation’s past. The Northeast Region of the National Park Service, encompassing 76 park units from Maine to Virginia, is densely packed with historic sites responsible for the care of approximately 26,500,000 museum artifacts. The Northeast Museum Services Center exists to assist the parks in our region with the care of their museum collections. We help preserve, protect, document, and make publicly accessible the artifacts in their care. This assistance can come in the form of cataloging, technical assistance projects, and planning assistance. Our staff consists of curators, archivists, archeologists, and librarians who are professionally trained in all aspects of museum work. We work on archeology and archives collections in our office here in Boston, and we also travel to parks to pack and move museum collections, write housekeeping plans, and develop Collection Management Plans. Several members of our staff are also trained in emergency response, and are called to help when museum collections are damaged or threatened by natural disasters.
Our goal is to impart to our readers the incredible value (and research potential) in our national parks’ museum collections. We will continue to highlight interesting archeological artifacts as well as the work here in the lab. In addition to what you have been seeing, however, we will also be posting periodically about archival collections and methods, as well as the various other ways that we assist and work with national parks in the Northeast Region. So, stay tuned, and tell your friends and colleagues! We hope that our wider focus will be interesting and helpful not only to fellow archeologists, but to all of you out there in the museum field.