What's in the Mystery Box? Common Collection Conundrums - Skill Clinic | Kent State University

What's in the Mystery Box? Common Collection Conundrums - Skill Clinic


  • $25 per person


  • MuseLab, Kent State University School of Library and Information Science,
  • Room 321 University Library, 1125 Risman Drive, Kent, Ohio 44242-0001
  • Link to parking map


Description of Skill Clinic

Envision yourself as a newly hired collection manager of a small museum. You are walking to your workspace and find a mysterious box on your desk. As you begin to examine the box, you notice there is no indication of who brought it, and all you see is a Post-it note affixed to the top with “DONATION” written in large red letters. You open the box and find numerous objects thrown together -- photographs, textiles, wooden objects and ceramics. And you realize it is up to you to figure out what to do with these objects.

So, what’s the first step? ...Find out, by attending the hands-on skill clinic, "What’s in the Mystery Box? Common Collection Conundrums."

Museums and historical societies often have team members who aren't completely up to speed on the do's and dont’s of basic collections care. Jennifer Souers Chevraux, education and outreach officer for the Intermuseum Conservation Association (ICA), can help get you and your team on the same best-practices page. This skill clinic will walk you through the process of handling a “mystery box” step-by step and review topics such as condition reporting, identification of materials, cleaning techniques, proper storage and long-term care of your collections, agents of deterioration and the science behind preservation practices.

This skill clinic on care and handling basics is designed for students, museum staff and volunteers, and members of the general public. 

Download the "What's in the Mystery Box?" skill clinic flyer.

Questions? Contact SLIS Assistant Professor Kiersten F. Latham, Ph.D.

This educational program is presented by the Kent State University School of Library and Information Science MuseLab and museum studies specialization, with generous support from the following organizations:

Cuyahoga Arts and Culture Logo





Ohio Arts Council Logo



Intermuseum Conservation Association Logo