Sunday, July 10, 2011

Curatorial Inexactitudes

One of the pleasant surprises about Moldova and Romania is that free internet access is common in hotels, so I have been reading the Yahoo news group posts about the NTM in unlikely places. The term "Curatorial Inexactitudes" cropped up several times so I asked Google what it means and this is what I found in the context of a military tank museum.

Museums don't make mistakes - I have it on good authority that they are "Curatorial Inexactitudes"

Regarding not altering the notice - nothing in a museum happens quickly. After all, they get paid whatever, the stuff has been sitting around rusting for 60 years so another decade makes no difference and if they have a desk piled high with paperwork they will look busy so nobody bothers them. I know, I worked in a museum for 8 years.
I have a very low opinion of curators - I've seen them in "action"

However the NTM is fortunate in that one of the candidates seeking re-election to the Board claims to be concerned about Curatorial Inexactitudes. I was gobsmacked because my simple request for Sheffield 264's trolley rope to be removed was rejected out of hand about a year ago. A later request for loudspeakers and their associated cables to be removed was also rejected.

I accept that some compromises are required to operate historic vehicles and provided that these are documented I personally see no harm in this. However when a tram is placed in the exhibition hall as a permanent static exhibit then I think that detailed histrical accuracy is very important. The most glaring example I can think of is Howth 10 which had major modifications to enable it run in Blackpool and these have not been corrected.
It might help future Curatorial Exactitude if a formal survey of the entire fleet was carried out whilst there are still old codgers around who remember the trams in service. Are any of the candidates for Board membership up for organising this? I would gladly do the clerical work from home.
In the meantime why not add a comment about the Curatorial Inexactitude that you find most most irritating.

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