Proceedings of the First Park Naturalists’ Training Conference, November 1 to 30, 1929
RANDOM NOTES ON MUSEUM TECHNIQUE.
By C. F. Brockman
In any park museum which has approached to some extent a more finished accomplishment there might be included a series of exhibits relative to all the parks which would show the relationship of each area to the entire system. The best possible way of doing this probably would be by using small relief models – such models being constructed to a uniform scale.
In the arrangement of rocks and minerals, rather than assembling a conglomeration of specimens, we in Rainier have found it more suitable to exhibit the various rocks in sequence so that the story of the park’s geology is portrayed as well as making the visitor acquainted with the various characters of the individual specimen. In mounting these rocks, if a plaster of paris base is prepared the specimen will always be exhibited in the same and most advantageous position.
Flora exhibits offer a problem as pressed flowers oftentimes are contorted by the pressing process and sometimes lose their color. During the season flower displays or wildflower gardens give one an opportunity to study this feature (exclusive, of course, of study along trails); but during off-seasons a cabinet containing several swinging “leaves” of beaver board with specimens arranged upon them according to botanical classification will give visitors some conception of this feature. It is understood that each park should be possessed of an herbarium, but this is for scientific use or study only. If it is desired to preserve cones, foliage, etc. of trees for photographs or exhibit, such material can be kept intact for long periods by preserving in a solution of glycerin (5%), formaldahyde (5%), and water (90%). This will tend to destroy the natural color but it is suitable for photographic purposes.
Considerable difference of opinion was expressed by the members present as to whether or not it is advisable to place in a park museum exhibits from other parks or regions. No agreement was reached on this point as most park naturalists felt that the park museum should tell only the story of the park itself and its adjacent region. Others felt that we could profitably devote one room to exhibits from other parks. It was concluded, however, that if the latter were done these exhibits should be of a general nature, such as maps, relief models, pictures etc., end that such an exhibit should be entirely separate from the sequence presented in the main museum.