Proceedings of the First Park Naturalists’ Training Conference, November 1 to 30, 1929
ADMINISTRATION OF PARK MUSEUMS
COOPERATING AGENCIES AND RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER DIVISIONS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
By Edwin D. McKee.
In the field of National Park Museums there appears to have developed great opportunities, within recent years, for the obtaining of both assistance and cooperation from outside agencies. Apparently the principal requisite necessary for enlisting such services is the proof of good intentions and of energetic endeavors on the part of an enthusiastic educational staff. More and more an appreciation of the value of park museums is being impressed upon national park officials and outside organizations alike. Once we obtain a sympathetic audience by our demonstration, contributions will follow naturally, and cooperation will be offered by others. The desirability of such a situation is obvious, so should be among our aims.
Cooperation with other institutions may be of varied types. An exchange of literature, of specimens, or even of ideas may be of practical value. Then again in our relation to the country’s larger and more purely scientific institutions, a presentation of material in return for some specialist’s assistance may also prove of mutual benefit. In brief, there are many possibilities for museum cooperation, and especially among the museums of our various parks ought some system be arranged.
Regarding the relations of park museums to other National Park Service divisions it is already evident in most cases that there other divisions should and do owe their cooperation and assistance whenever possible. Where such an attitude has not yet been obtained, efforts should be made toward its enlistment. The museum is an excellent advertisement for the park as a whole. All park employees, therefore, should consider it their duty to advertise and to boost the museum. Another feature to be considered also is the collection of material. Opportunities for such service frequently come to park employees, especially the rangers, and such work should be considered by them a duty and a privilege. In some places this cooperative spirit is already in evidence, unfortunately not in others. It is up to us, therefore, to do our part towards development of such an attitude.