Les Bénévoles

ARCS Pre-Conference Event: Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

As part of the Association of Registrars and Collections Specialists conference in Philadelphia this year, we will hold a day of volunteerism at local museums for attendees. The name of Les Bénévoles, which translates to The Volunteers, was chosen to complement the French heritage of New Orleans which hosted the conference in 2015, and has been carried over to subsequent conferences.

The following sites have been selected as hosts for the Les Bénévoles projects on November 6th!

The Center for Art in Wood
The Center for Art in Wood is a non‐profit museum that advocates for creative engagement in the material of wood. Since 1986, it has presented an increasingly ambitious roster of exhibitions and publications to document the field and its artists and built a museum collection of 1200 works in wood. The Center for Art in Wood is seeking 3-4 volunteers to add exhibition history to its collection management database.

Chester County Historical Society
CCHS has been collecting materials about the history of the region since 1893. More than three hundred years of local history are represented with 80,000 museum objects, 750,000 manuscripts, 100,000 images in the photo archives, and 20,000 reference books. The Bénévoles project will focus on the Society’s collection of primarily 19th century shawls that reflect fashion of the 1800s and Quaker traditions. Tasks that CCHS would like to accomplish include: 1) inventory, 2) upgrading catalog records, 3) photo-documentation and 4) re-housing if necessary. 

Darby Library History Collection
The Darby Library Company is one of the oldest public libraries in the United States, founded in 1743 as a subscription library before becoming free to the public in 1898. Nicknamed "The Gateway to The South" because of its status as a popular way station for travelers between Baltimore and Philadelphia, Darby was also an important stop for many freedom seekers on the Underground Railroad. The collection needs to be evaluated and condition reported. 

Historic Arch Street Meeting House
Arch Street Meeting House is a National Historic Landmark and has been a Quaker place of worship since 1682. They are seeking volunteers to perform condition assessments and plan for upgraded storage for their historic furniture collections.

James A. Michener Art Museum
The Michener collection includes the most comprehensive and significant collection of Pennsylvania Impressionist paintings in public hands. This movement, now recognized nationally and internationally, developed and flourished in New Hope, Pennsylvania in the early decades of the twentieth century. The museum is actively building its studio craft collection as well as expanding its holdings of contemporary painting, sculpture, works on paper, and decorative arts. The Michener seeks volunteers to condition report objects in its permanent collection.

Rose Valley Museum and Historical Society
The Rose Valley Museum and Historical Society preserves artifacts and honors the history of Rose Valley, Pennsylvania, an intentional community founded in 1901 by the nationally renowned architect William Lightfoot Price to embody the principles of the Arts and Crafts movement. The project will consist of 1) gathering advice on collections management databases to consolidate collection documentation and 2) gathering advice on materials for rehousing historic documents and photographs, and 3) organizing and cataloging collections.

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