Jun 05


Summer 2012 Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM) Collections Management Internship


My name is Becky Bacheller and I have just completed the first year of my Museum Studies Masters program at George Washington University. That year included multiple courses in Collections Management, Preventive Conservation, and Decorative Arts (both European and American).

Outside of the classroom I spend most of my waking hours in various museums. I typically devote 2 days a week to volunteering at NASM, either downtown helping curatorial with an upcoming exhibit or out at Garber (their collections facility) helping to rehouse a historic collection. Then 2 to 3 days a week are spent at my part-time job service as a Visitor Services Associate at the New York Historical Society. And yes, I am from NYC so I usually spend my weekends up there. Don’t worry, I stopped for the summer! I could post my entire resume but let’s get to the important part: this summer and how I will be spending it.

I have enjoyed my experiences at NASM so much that I was accepted a full-time, paid internship for the summer. It is primarily located at the Garber collections facility but occasionally we go to the Hazy facility (NASM’s new collections facility) by the Dulles Airport to unpack objects. My hours are generally 8:30 to 3:30. On the days we go to Hazy, the hours are usually 7 to 3:30. Hence I will not be keeping track of the total hours for this project since it clearly exceeds the minimum for an internship.

The main purpose of this project is to prepare for shipment and long term storage the small object collections of the National Air and Space Museum currently located at the Paul E. Garber Facility in Suitland, MD. These small objects will be relocated from Suitland, MD to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center (UHC) in Chantilly, VA. These artifacts may include but are not limited to civilian and military uniforms, space program tools and accessories, models, trophies, three dimensional art, memorabilia, and toys.

Activities during this internship will include but not be limited to:
1.    object handling
2.    creating and inserting interior and exterior storage supports
3.    creating handling trays / containers
4.    packing objects into shipping containers
5.    assisting with the relocation of objects from shipping containers to final destinations at UHC storage


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