MARSHALL, Mich. — Some of the secrets hidden in the American Museum of Magic could soon be revealed.

Two assessors are scheduled to visit the southern Michigan museum in September as part of a program offered through the Washington-based American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.

The Battle Creek Enquirer (http://bcene.ws/2uteE6u) reports the effort comes after the administrator of the local museum, Kate Peterson, started asking questions about some of the exhibits at the museum in Marshall.

For example, the museum houses an eerie, golden head that’s said to be a mind-reading machine. Peterson doesn’t know who made it or where it came from, and she hopes assessors with the organization can help her figure it out.

Peterson admits she doesn’t know the stories behind all the curious artifacts and colorful posters that are part of the 10,000-piece collection at the museum. The collection she maintains also includes about 800,000 items in an archive building.

“It is challenging,” said Peterson, who applied for the program in February.

The assessors are chosen by the museums they visit, according to Tiffani Emig, coordinator for the Collections Assessment for Preservation Program.

“The purpose of the program is to give small and medium size museums the opportunity to receive direct consultation from specialists who focus on collections care and building care,” Emig said. “The goal is to help these small and mid-size museums receive a prioritized set of recommendations on what they should do to improve the care of their collections.”

A collections assessor may, for example, recommend how to prevent a paper artifact from deteriorating, Emig said. That could be helpful for Peterson, whose museum has a huge book collection, including a one first printed in 1594, “The Discoverie of Witchcraft,” that reveals how some tricks were done.

Peterson said the assessors will visit her museum for two days, then spend a month working up a report. She hopes the review will help her include more information about her exhibits and provide visitors with stories behind the tricks.


Information from: Battle Creek Enquirer, http://www.battlecreekenquirer.com

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.