About the Please Touch Museum: Since 1976, Please Touch Museum has been the Children’s Museum of Philadelphia. The museum was the first in the nation whose target audience was families with children seven and younger. As a first museum experience, the Please Touch Museum introduces young children to museum collections and the role they play in learning within a museum. They show linkages across traditional disciplines (e.g., mixing arts and science and history) and illuminate commonalities and differences among cultures and time periods. Collections displays are designed to prompt intergenerational discussion of history and the past.
What were you able to accomplish as a result of your institution’s participation in the Stewardship Program?
Developing and implementing the long-range Preservation Plan was great because it was useful in planning for our move to our larger space at Memorial Hall. We moved into a space that is now four times larger than our old space and having the plan significantly assisted with the move.
The completion of the plan also coincided with our reaccreditation with AAM. Having the preservation plan in hand was helpful in readying the collections for that process. The preservation plan was also the impetus for updating our collections management policy; reviewing our archives, and looking at our play collection (hands-on collection), and getting all the necessary documents updated and in place.
What did you learn about your collections, or about preservation in general, because of the Stewardship Program? What information has been helpful to you?
We looked at our collections management policy and realized the direction we wanted to go. The preservation planning process helped us to refocus our policy and identify areas in need of further investigation or things that we need to concentrate on as we continue to move forward.
Were you able to use your Preservation Plan to get any additional funding?
We were able to get a line item in our budget now for conservation. Whether that’s to do a treatment, or to buy supplies to protect the materials, that’s up to us – but now we have the line item to help us complete conservation and preservation projects.
What was the main benefit of participating in the Stewardship Program for your institution?
Having the Preservation Plan in place created a wonderful domino effect that influenced other plans and projects.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I always enjoy anything that involves CCAHA. It’s great having the Center as a resource in our area, and it’s so helpful having a place where I can call with a question and someone either answers it or points us in the right direction.