About THS

The Tabernacle Historical Society is not a long existent organization that has been around for many, many, years. In fact it is less than 50 years old. The minutes from the very first meeting of the Tabernacle Historical Society are republished below.

On February 19, 1975 a group of 10 people met at Town Hall for the purpose of forming a Historical Society for Tabernacle Township. Those present were Ms. Anabel Smoot, Mrs. Hope Pepper, Mrs. May Poulsyn, Mrs. Anna Shinski, Mrs. Lois Noonan, Mrs. Beatrice Miller, Mrs. Thelma Allen, Mrs. Beatrice Worrell, Donald Spaeth and George Worrell. Two guests were present, Mrs. Susan Bradmon and her daughter, Starr Ginther.

The group asked Thelma Allen to serve as Temporary Chairman and Beatrice Worrell as Temporary Secretary. Lois Noonan proposed that a Historical Society of Tabernacle Township be organized. This was seconded by Mary Poulsyn and carried. Beatrice Miller made a motion that the Temporary Chairman appoint an organizational committee. This was seconded by Anabel Smoot and carried. Thelma Allen, Anabel Smoot and Beatrice Worrell were named.

Hope Pepper made a motion that the Society dues be as follows: $3.00 for a single person., $5.00 for a married couple and $1.00 for students. Anna Shinski seconded the motion and it was carried.

Thelma Allen will apply for a Non-Profit Status. Mary Poulsyn made a notion that the next meeting be held on March 11 at 8pm. This was seconded by Hope Pepper and carried.

Mrs. Susan Bradmon was present from the Burlington County Cultural and Heritage Society and was very helpful in the initiative planning of the Society. She also informed us about booklets which would be a great help to us. She answered questions. Following the meeting she talked about the Smithville Mansion and the purposed park.

The meeting was declared closed by the Chairman.

Respectfully submitted, Beatrice Worrell Temporary Secretary”

In the forty plus years of our existence, much has changed. One thing remaining constant has been our desire to keep annual dues low and affordable. Today an annual membership is just $10.00 for an individual or $15.00 for a family. A lifetime membership is also available for $100.00.

Meetings are held monthly on the second Thursday at 7:30 PM . In January, February and August there is no meeting, and in December there is an “active member” only home luncheon. The meeting place is the Tabernacle Community Center.

Any questions or comments, please call or email Rick Franzen (609 859 3469 or pineyrick@aol.com)

AAP Survey Report

Artifact Assessment Program (AAP)



                        Tabernacle Township Historical Society

                              3 Deer Trail

                            Tabernacle, New Jersey 08088

                              (609) 859-3469


                        Richard Franzen                                          Mary Ann Silvers

                              President                                                      Vice President

                              pineyrick@aol.com                                     msilvers07@comcast.net

                              609-744-4345 cell                                       609-440-1434 cell


                        Joan Harris-Rico

                              83 Oak Street

                              Bridgewater, NJ 08807

                              (908) 393-6692 home


Date of visit:           May 25, 2022

In Attendance:

                        Richard Franzen, President

                            Mary Ann Silvers, Vice President

1. Introductory Remarks

The New Jersey Association of Museums (NJAM) Artifact Assessment Program (AAP) site

visit for the Tabernacle Historical Society (THS) was conducted on May 25, 2022. This visit included the historic Knight-Pepper house, Friendship Schoolhouse, and Cemetery, all located in Tabernacle Township, Burlington County, in the Pine Barrens of Southern NJ. These 3 sites are owned by the Township and operated by the Society. The goals of the Society as outlined in the AAP application include:

 “Preserving, Protecting, Promoting and Publishing our local histories”.

THS is committed to these goals through the continual care and preservation of the Knight-Pepper House, Friendship Schoolhouse, Tabernacle Cemetery, and the THS museum collection. They hold meetings on the 2nd Thursday of each month, with a break in January and February. The Meeting minutes are posted on the THS website, https://tabernaclehistoricalsociety.org.

A. Organizational History and Governing Structure

THS was formed in 1975 by 10 local residents. THS has a Constitution and By-Laws. Currently there are 2 non-paid staff members, the President and Vice President. There are also 15-20 Volunteers.

B. Budget

The annual budget is $4200. THS funding sources include donations, membership, and grants. The budget recently included the purchase of archival storage boxes. 

C. Hours Open to the Public

Both sites are accessible by appointment only.

D. Physical Plant/Storage and Exhibition Areas

The Knight-Pepper House is possibly dated ca. 1860’s and the Friendship Schoolhouse dates ca. 1890’s. Both are wooden structures and contain exhibited objects. The condition of each period room is excellent. The objects appear in very good, stable condition. Public access through the rooms is eased by their spaciousness combined with a modest number of exhibited objects. The period rooms have customized, metal exhibit labels that include the object’s description, history and donor/borrower info. In addition, there is no overcrowding of exhibited objects.    

E. Description of Collections

The THS collection consists of approx. 1300+ objects, which mostly includes furnishings, books, photos, news clippings, ephemera, toys, and personal objects. The objects date from 1860 to the early 20th century. They interpret the life and culture of early Tabernacle’s inhabitants. The mostly exhibited collection surveyed at the Knight-Pepper House and Friendship Schoolhouse is in pristine condition. The objects are in excellent, stable condition; only 2 paper objects were recommended for conservation treatment. The collection is fully cataloged and numbered. The high level of care and dedication to managing the THS collection is quite evident.

F. Promotion and Publicity

The THS is open on Memorial Day and attracts people from the Town Parade. Otherwise, the THS is greatly focused on their rich website, https://tabernaclehistoricalsociety.org/. The website includes the Auto Tour guide, Quick-Links to History, videos, photos, archives, news clippings, oral and written histories, local tales, etc. It is quite impressive, as there is a plethora of historical information on Tabernacle available to the user. The website continues to expand with additional images and histories.

2. Preservation – Building Environment

A. Climate

Museums and collections repositories have, over the past several decades, developed guidelines for maintaining stable temperature and relative humidity for areas containing collections (exhibition and storage and work areas). Stable climate reduces possibilities of mold growth as well as the breakdown or oxidation of wood, paper, organic, metal and stone objects. Although some variations exist (textiles and photographs in cool areas, archaeological metals in dryer areas), the maintenance temperature is considered 68-72 degrees, with relative humidity at 50%, plus or minus 5%, 24 hours per day. Since ultraviolet light causes fading and burning, especially to textiles and paper, areas should not have unfiltered natural light nor should lights be left on unless the space is in use.

These guidelines are extremely difficult to translate into reality, so museums, historical societies and historic houses should strive to achieve and maintain the most stable environment, with the slowest changes, that they can give their unique buildings and systems. Stability with standard or slightly lower temperature and humidity is a good goal; fast fluctuations and high temperature and humidity cause the most damage.

Monitor conditions by recording temperature and humidity in the facility once a day if possible. Humidity can be measured with a digital hygrometer. Monitoring should be continuous in areas where important collections are kept. Also, air pollution can lead to the formation of harmful acids in the building’s atmosphere; protect collections by installing filters in the HVAC system. Good circulation is a key factor in limiting mold and mildew; keep a portable fan on in areas where susceptible objects are stored.

Consultant Observations and Recommendations

The Knight-Pepper House and Friendship Schoolhouse lack heat and electricity. There is ongoing discussion with the Township to install both. In the meantime, it is recommended that windows are kept closed all the time as a preventative action against the effects of incoming insects, air pollution, and fluctuating temperature and relative humidity levels.

It is also recommended that some hygrometers are installed on each floor to monitor the relative humidity and temperature. This data can be useful when applying for future grants. A link providing an example of a hygrometer can be found in Section 8 Appendices No. 3.  Also, silica gel buckets are used in the Knight-Pepper house.  It is suggested that they are placed in every room to control damp, humid conditions. They can also be used in the Friendship Schoolhouse, which had a slight damp odor.

B. Light

The ideal storage room is an interior room, above grade, without any windows. If there are windows in a storage area, they should ideally be secured against entry and blacked out against light intrusion. If that is not possible:

               1. Cover windows with shades and install UV filters on the windows.

               2. House all materials in archival boxes or in museum-standard cabinets (good as well to control dust).

               3. Use UV filtered lights.

               4. Turn out lights when not in the room.

Objects also need protection from light while on display. Remember that some objects, especially light-sensitive objects such as works on paper and textiles, may fade rapidly and they cannot regain any of the color they lose. Damage to light sensitive material is permanent.

               1. Avoid display cases with built-in incandescent or fluorescent lighting.

               2. Install UV filters on any lights outside of display cases.

               3. Lower foot candles to 5 foot candles (50 lux).

               4. Rotate light sensitive artifacts every two to three months.

Consultant Observations and Recommendations

The Friendship House and the Knight-Pepper House lack electricity, therefore electrical lighting is non-existent. The Knight-Pepper House uses window shades, which is an excellent low-cost method for preventing UV fading on wooden furniture, textiles, and paper objects. Although they aren’t pulled down regularly, the framed objects are turned around and the furniture is covered during non-visiting times.

To check if there may be risk of UV fading on textile, wooden or paper objects it is recommended to place a colored piece of paper on or nearby the windowsill and check periodically for fading.

C. Insects and Rodents

Rodents and insects damage objects, particularly paper and other organic materials. IPM, or Integrated Pest Management, consists of several actions which, taken together, limit damage to collections:

               1. Develop and implement housekeeping plans for all collection areas.

               2. Prohibit eating or drinking in all collections areas.

               3. Empty all trash containers, building-wide, regularly and often.       

            4. Inspect all collection areas weekly.

               5. Use sticky traps to monitor and eliminate pests.

               6. Have a monthly pest inspection by a pest control company.

               7. Identify any breakout of insects or vermin and treat areas immediately.

               8. Do not allow potted plants or yard-grown flowers to be used. Only cut, hot house flowers                      should be permitted.

               9. Designate a specific area to process new accessions so that pests can be discovered prior                                           to entering main storage areas.

Consultant Observations and Recommendations  

There are no reported incidents of pests or rodents at both sites. It is recommended that a few small sticky traps are placed in each building to monitor for any insects.

D. Water Damage

Water damage is a major and ever-present danger to all collections. Historic buildings are especially susceptible to leaks from old plumbing, structure deterioration and problems with roofing and drainage. To help avoid damage from water:

               1. Never store collections directly on a floor or directly against exterior walls.

               2. If possible, move all storage areas above ground and below attic level; do not use                                          basements or attics for storage of permanent collection artifacts.

               3. Do not store collections under water pipes. If this is inevitable, protect

                    objects with plastic caps or covers.

               4. Install water alarms.

               5. Inspect roof coverings and flashings regularly.

               6. Inspect storage areas regularly.

               7. Painting collections storage areas in historic buildings white can assist in

                    identifying areas of water infiltration prior to damage occurring.

Consultant Observation and Recommendations

There are no reported incidents of water-related issues at both sites.

E. Fire, Emergency, Disaster Preparedness, and Security

An emergency plan should be developed and be in place in the organization’s buildings.

Life safety is the priority. Collections should be addressed in terms of prevention and in terms of response after personal safety is determined.

Collections may be protected from fire by: 

               1. Installing smoke detectors connected internally and to the local fire department.

               2. Maintaining a solid housekeeping plan and removing all trash regularly.

               3. Building a solid relationship with the local fire department and doing walkthroughs with local firefighters on an annual basis.

Collections may be protected from theft by:

               1. Installation of burglar alarms connected internally and to the local police department.

               2. Developing a collection access policy.

                              a. Storage access for key staff members or volunteers only.

                              b. Visitor access to reading and research areas logged and monitored.

                              c. Security guards/docents checking public access areas (exhibitions, etc.) during open hours.

Consultant Observation and Recommendations

THS currently has no disaster plan. For areas with potential for tornados such as Southern NJ, it is recommended that an emergency plan is created to offset such a disaster.

It is also recommended that the objects in the Knight-Pepper House and Friendship Schoolhouse are prioritized for salvage emergency. Those objects deemed of highest importance should be identified and listed. The listed objects could be shown to the local Fire Department officials during an annual walkthrough.

In addition, portable fire extinguishers (PFEs) should be placed on each floor in each building.

3. Preservation – Collections

Sources for inert materials and archival products mentioned below can be found in the AAP Resource Manual.

A. Storage Areas

Storage areas should be interior, without windows, and secure. Alarms are encouraged, and it is important for log books or electronic card readers, where possible, be used to help record who entered storage and when they were there. Guidelines for entry, use and housekeeping should be in place. Basic rules for safe storage:

               1. Do not put any objects directly on the floor.

2. Try not to put objects or storage units under any water pipes. If there is even a light possibility of water incursion, use overhanging corrugated plastic on the tops of                units or cover with plastic sheets.

               3. Enclose objects in boxes or drawers where possible to minimize dust and

                   water hazards.

               4. Do not crowd objects that are not boxed.

Collections can include a wide variety of objects with vastly different sizes and materials. The major components are usually textiles (flat or costume); paper (prints, posters, photographs); paintings; metal, wood, ceramic and glass objects; objects of mixed materials; organic artifacts; special collections (coins, stamps); and scientific specimens that may be organic or inorganic (mounted mammals and birds, minerals and gems, shells).

It is suggested that all material requiring special environments (cool for photography, low humidity and cool for textiles, or slightly dryer for archaeological metals) be stored together in the most appropriate space available. Keeping like collections together is the general rule, though specifics of size or material may preclude that possibility. Mixed materials (dolls, upholstered furniture, etc.), as well as all others, should stay in stable environments as close to the standard climate guidelines as possible.

Consultant Observations and Recommendations

This section is not applicable as there is no object storage at both sites. There is off-site storage at the President’s and Vice President’s residences. THS hopes to administer the Construction House, d. 1950, which stands next to the Knight-Pepper House. It may be a future option for on-site storage. Yet, until there is a solution to the lack of on-site storage, best practices for object storage should continue to be followed in the residences. This report serves as a handy reference for best practices, in addition to other publications, such as the NPS Museum Handbook.

B. Storage Units

When storing, as when documenting a collection, it is advisable to get some input from an expert in the area. Numismatists know best how to store and document coins, ornithologists know their bird study skins, and art historians have preferences about storage and documentation of paintings, prints and sculpture. Visit other institutions with similar collections, contact a conservator, or call a known expert who might provide information.

Best shelving is metal with powder-coated enamel. This prevents off-gassing or contact with bare metal. The best cabinet units for small objects are gasketed against gaseous pollutants and have drawers and doors to keep objects in more stable climate that minimizes dust. Framed objects should be stored on wire racks or in bins, while many paper objects should be individually jacketed and stored in acid-free boxes or Solander boxes. Some textiles may be rolled.

All drawers and shelves on which objects are directly placed should have a thin sheet of inert foam. Wood is not recommended, since it is flammable, and it is difficult to control acid migration from wood to objects.


Textiles should be stored in a cool area with relatively low humidity, thus reducing the growth of mold and the invasion of insects. They should be kept out of light, as many of them fade easily.

Costumes are usually boxed, placed in shallow drawers, or hung. Hanging is not preferable, since the weight of much costume material can lead to self-damage and even destruction if the garments have beads or other heavy decoration. If textiles are hung, they should be placed on padded hangers to avoid creases at the shoulders and covered with an unbleached muslin jacket. Costumes that are boxed or placed in drawers should not be folded, but should rather be padded out with acid-free tissue paper to produce gentle curving. Folding will cause creases that may result in permanent damage. Crowding in boxes or drawers should be avoided, as it causes folds which cause creases.

Flat textiles should be separated by acid-free tissue if placed in drawers or boxes. Large textiles that cannot be stored flat may be rolled if they are not heavily stuffed (some quilts) or decorated. Acid-free cardboard tubes inserted over aluminum pipes form a stable roll. If used, staff and volunteers should have a session on how to roll textiles with a textile conservator.

Paper (prints, posters, photographs):

Paper objects should be placed in acid-free folders, alkaline buffered if they are acidic themselves, and then boxed. Prints are even better stored in acid-free mats, generally cut to standard sizes for storage safety and frame reuse. They are then put into standard size acid-free boxes or Solander boxes. This is done to keep damage from handling, acid, water, dust and light damage at a minimum.

Posters are generally stored in map case units, separated by acid-free sheets of paper or placed in custom acid-free folders.

Fine arts photographs should be matted or put in acid-free folders that pass the Image Permanence Institute’s Photo Activity Test (PAT). They can then be stored flat in acid-free or Solander boxes. https://www.imagepermanenceinstitute.org/testing/pat

Historical and archival photographs should also be in PAT acid-free folders or in uncoated polyester (Mylar/Melinex) folders. Ideally, photographs should be stored by like size, therefore one folder or box should contain only 5 x 7 in. or only 8 x 10 in. photographs. This helps to maintain consistent points of pressure on all the photographs.

Paintings and framed works: Paintings should be placed in carpeted bins or hung on racks, not placed against each other on stored directly a floor. If they must be on a floor during short moves or during exhibition installation, Ethafoam planks can serve as platforms. When placing framed works in a bin, separate

them with acid-free cardboard. If there is no way to separate the paintings and other framed works, place like sizes face-to-face and back-to-back. Whenever possible, paintings should not be stored along exterior walls to help prevent fluctuations in temperature conducted through the outside walls.

Mixed materials, wood, metal, ceramics, glass objects:

Use basic shelving or drawers, depending on size. If objects are very fragile or physically unstable, storage mounts may be developed; boxes with supports designed for a specific object may be used. Placing foam barriers between fragile objects is also a plus. Twisted acid-free tissue or archival sound closed cell foams can be formed into rings to place around ceramic and glass objects to keep them from moving. Customized boxes may prove an efficient method of housing numerous small objects and aid in identification of miss-placed objects.

Organic artifacts:

Organic artifacts, those made of wood, skin, leather, fur, feathers and grasses, and some textiles, are especially susceptible to insects and to damage from high temperatures and humidity. A stable relative humidity should be maintained in their storage, there should be good air circulation, and temperatures should be cool. It is best to box like objects, or box objects individually. Special attention should be paid to the Integrated Pest Management (IMP) program in areas where organics are stored.

Scientific specimens:

Store mounted specimens in dust-free cases or covered with individual plastic covers. Study skins are generally stored in drawers. Small specimen boxes are available for storing shells, gems and small mineral specimens. As noted above it is important to get input on proper storage from an expert in an area if your institution has a collection that is significant.

Consultant Observations and Recommendations

Acid-free archival boxes and Mylar enclosures are appropriately used for the storage of paper objects.

C. Object Mounts, Enclosures, Microclimates

If possible, all fragile objects should have mounts made to protect them. A storage mount helps support fragile areas and allows the strongest parts of the object to take the most weight. It also protects the object from handlers who are not aware of its weaknesses and works simply to keep the object from being touched often. Mounts can be made from various materials including acid-free cardboard and acid-free paper.

Boxing and cabinet storage create microclimates that can be manipulated by adding drying materials or chemicals that remove gaseous pollutants. Very fragile paintings are sometimes encased in plastic boxes to maintain specific climates. These measures can only be attempted on very fragile objects with conservation input.

Consultant Observations and Recommendations

A woven basket in the collection was discussed regarding upgrading its storage. See Section 8 Appendices No. 4 for instructions on creating a storage mount out of Ethafoam and acid-free board/box lid.

4. Processing Objects

A. Collecting Policy

Organizations which collect and maintain collections of historical, artistic and/or scientific objects should develop a collecting policy. Based on the mission statement of the organization, the collecting policy presents the scope of objects that are wanted or needed by the organization. The policy allows those staff and board members with powers to accept or buy collections a firm stance on what should be added, and what should be rejected, from possible donations or purchases.

Consultant Observations and Recommendations

It is suggested that a collecting policy be developed. Since both sites have space constraints for exhibited objects and no object storage space, a policy can help control possible collection growth.  The creation of a collecting policy can also help towards the growing cost of maintaining and caring for collections in the future.  

B. Collection Management Policy

A strong collection management policy sets down the guidelines of care and use of the collections held by an organization. It should contain, at the least, the institution’s mission statement and scope of collection followed by policies that give guidelines for accessioning (the process of acquiring and documenting), deaccessioning, loans (incoming, outgoing, and long-term), and access to collections. A complete collections policy also contains information on Board, staff and volunteer ethics, artifact documentation, risk management, and intellectual property rights. In order to achieve professional standards and make certain that all staff and board understand the basics of professional care, the collections management policy should be available, should be discussed, and should undergo compliance reviews and policy revisions as needed.

Consultant Observations and Recommendations

It is suggested that a collection management policy be developed. It would be a beneficial resource   for the established guidelines on the care and handling of the THS collection.

C. Accessioning and Deaccessioning

Accessioning, as described by Marie Malaro (A Legal Primer on Managing Museum Collections, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998) is “the formal process used to accept and record an item as a collection document.” Unlike accessioning in archives or libraries, accessioning in museums and historical societies can only be reversed (deaccession) by agreement of the governing body of the organization.

Accessioning a donation includes:

               1. Offer of intent by donor

               2. Acceptance by the organization.

                              Offer and acceptance are often stated on a deed of gift.

               3. Receipt of the physical object.

                              An object officially becomes part of the accessioned collection when these three steps are completed.

               4. Assignment of a unique accession number

               5. Application of that number on the object

               6. Catalog of the object, including photograph

Deaccessioning includes:

               1. Review by curator to determine use to the institution and reasons for deaccession.

               2. Review by registrar/curator to determine legal ownership and restrictions.

               3. Formal agreement by the board of trustees to deaccession.

               4. Disposition and recording of all of the above steps.

               5. Proceeds from the sale of objects must be utilized according to the ethical guidelines of  the professional organization embraced by the institution. Art, science and history museums generally act in agreement with the American Alliance of Museums,       Association of Art Museum Directors, and/or the American Association for State and               Local History.

Consultant Observations and Recommendations

There is no current accessioning and deaccessioning process. Most of the early donations lack documentation. Establishing legal title for future donations can be done with accessioning documents, including a Deed of Gift. Also, the use of deaccessioning documents can be useful for objects no longer deemed within the scope of the collection. It is suggested that an accessioning and deaccessioning policy be established.

D. Numbering systems/Numbering objects

Most collecting institutions use a basic three-part numbering system, which can be expanded for parts and sets, to number their objects. The accession number is the key to all object information and use.

               Part 1 – year the object is acquired.

               Part 2 – number of the acquisition, sequentially, for one or more objects.

               Part 3 – number, sequentially, for each object in an acquisition if there is more than

one object.

Thus the second object of the third gift for the current year will be 2015.3.2. If there parts, an “a” or a “b” is added; if there are sets, further numbers 1-? are used.

Numbering should be neat, hidden if possible, and reversible. Several number guides are available and are updated as new conservation guidelines come into use. See Museum Registration Methods 5, AAM, Washington, D.C. 2010 for numbering instructions. Numismatic materials should not be numbered; rather, they should be in clearly numbered containers (coins) or sleeves (paper currency) and be well documented with images.

Old numbering systems may be retired, but there should be no attempt to renumber objects in old systems. It is only necessary to change numbers that are duplicated; in that case, the most used or valuable object retains the original number and the duplicate(s) are given new numbers.

Consultant Observations and Recommendations

There is a viable and consistent acquisition/cataloging numbering system in place, although no accessioning number system. This awarded cataloging system includes both electronic and paper copies, including binder lists and catalog cards.  

As this numbering system currently works well for THS there are no recommendations. Given the relatively small size of the collection, its lack of potential for rapid growth, and the lack of a backlog there is no pressing need to change it.

The physical numbering of objects includes the application of paper labels sealed in Mylar and adhered to the object with clear tape. It is recommended that this method is supplemented with the use of acid-free tags and string, when possible. Also, for textiles, the acquisition number can be written in archival-quality ink on a small piece of twill tape and sewn onto the textile object. The use of archival-quality ink can be used to number most of the objects, including wood, metal, ceramic, and glass. For information on these methods of numbering objects, see Section 8 Appendices No. 5.

E. Catalogs and Database

The importance and usefulness of an object is increased by the amount and quality of information known about the object. Collecting institutions, since their early days, have made catalog lists and developed card catalogs to hold that information. Since the late 1980s the majority of these institutions have changed to digital databases that are easily searchable; the key between the object and its information remains the accession number in all systems. Currently, databases often used by small collecting institutions include Excel, Access and PastPerfect.

The following information for man-made objects is generally included on a catalog sheet or catalog card for backup security or in the event of computer failure or other emergencies, but should also be entered, when possible, into a database:     

Object Name

               Object Date

               Maker, Artist, or Manufacturer

               Geographic Origin






               Location in Storage

Science objects also need collecting data and taxonomic information. Since different types of collections use different lexicons for descriptions, it is advisable to consult with an expert (art curator, historian, anthropologist, archaeologist, numismatist, geologist, paleontologist, etc.) to determine the most appropriate data fields for your catalog.

In addition to the basic catalog, further information should be kept in an object/accession file. This includes legal documents pertaining to acquisition; reports of appraisal, conservation and loan; provenance/provenience information; and correspondence with researchers and donors.

All information about the object should remain on file permanently, whether or not the object stays in the collection or is deaccessioned, stolen or destroyed.

Consultant Observations and Recommendations

THS uses a cataloging system created by VP Mary Ann Silvers and two THS members. It was awarded by the Burlington County Freeholders Historians. It uses successive numbers and a letter that classifies the object’s type. For example, THS 0401E is the 401st object in the collection and it is an Ephemera object. The data is entered into an electronic chart format, printed out and placed into binders, each sheet enclosed in Mylar folders. In addition, there are handwritten paper catalog cards stored in a box. The binders and catalog card box are stored off-site at VP Mary Ann Silvers residence.

This system works extremely well for THS, and there is no pressing need to change to another system. The collection contains approx. 1300+ objects, and there is no catalog backlog or anticipated substantial collection growth. However, implementing a widely used program and having it in place for future staff would be a good idea. The existing electronic cataloging data can be imported to Excel. There is a link to a YouTube video on importing data into Excel in the Section 8 Appendices No. 6.

It is also recommended that the collection objects are photographed. The photographs can be digitally uploaded and attached to each entry in the Acquisition Book and to each Catalog Card.

5. Fundamental Issues

A. Staff Characteristics and Staff Training

Staff and volunteers working with object collections should seek basic training in the care and documentation of historical and cultural objects, works of art, and scientific specimens. The state, regional and national museum and affiliated associations present programs, publications and webinars to education museum workers.

               New Jersey Association of Museums (NJAM)    http://www.njmuseums.org

               New Jersey State Library Association (NJLA)      http://www.njla.org

               Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums (MAAM) http://www.midatlanticmuseums.org

               Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) http://www.marac.org

               American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) http://www.aaslh.org

               American Alliance of Museums (AAM) http://www.aam-us.org

               Association of Registrars and Collections Specialists (ARCS) http://www.arcsinfo.org

               Registrar’s Committee of the American Alliance of Museums (RCAAM) ww.rcaam.org

               Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) http://www.ccaha.org

Registrars involved with AAM also maintain a listserv where colleagues across the country ask and answer a plethora of questions about collections management. Information about the Registrars Committee listserv can be found at http://www.rcaam.org/listserv

New Jersey museum workers will find New Jersey Association of Museum membership a valuable experience for both learning and networking.

A second site visit is available by an NJAM-AAP consultant who can address specific collections or problems and may develop training for staff and volunteers working on a new or transitional facility.

Consultant Recommendations

Here are some NJ historic preservation organizations to check out:

The NJ History and Historic Preservation Conference


Friends of NJ Heritage

NJ Historical Commission


Attending and/or participating in state and local history events is recommended. Joining the New Jersey Association of Museums (NJAM) and the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) is also recommended.

Resources on line

MuseumPests.net provides an in-depth and comprehensive review of Integrate Pest Management Plans. The site has a searchable database of pests including photographs for ease of identification.

The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works has publications and resources available on line:


A specific section is intended to provide a general understanding and some guidelines on preventive care:


This other specific section about Materials and Treatments provides a general understanding of each material and its conservation behavior and issues:


The Canadian Conservation Institute has clear and practical resources on line on the “Notes” section:


The Museum Services Section at the California State Parks (Archaeology, History & Museums Division) published online a guide to start a Scope of Collections:

Nomenclature provides an up-to-date searchable resource on how to properly catalog objects in your collection.

The National Park Service has an extensive overview of the cataloging process available on line

B. Disaster Planning

All collecting institutions should have a disaster preparedness plan and a business continuity plan. Some grant programs require that disaster planning be in place. A helpful list of resources for creating a disaster plan can be found at:


The American Alliance of Museum has extensive resources for disaster preparedness including this reference guide:

Consultant Observations and Recommendations

THS’s buildings may be danger of flooding due to tornado activity, or fire from a lightning strike. It is highly recommended that a Disaster Plan is created for both sites. It would be a good idea to work with the Fire Department. A Disaster Plan consolidates important contact info, including those who’ll volunteer post-disaster, Township officials, insurance companies, conservator contacts, historic preservation contractors, etc.

C. Financial Assistance

See the AAP Resource List for names and addresses of granting institutions. It often works better to look for small amounts of funding to cover specific, small-scale needs rather than large scale grants for a large, all-encompassing project. Large projects might work better as a series of smaller, concise activities.

Consider approaching organizations or businesses that are represented in the collection or might benefit from having the collection organized. It can make for very good PR for them and the institution.

Consultant Observations and Recommendations

If possible, a fundraiser event could help cover costly projects, such as the conservation treatment of the Teaching Certificate and Burlington Co. Map. Suggestions include a re-enactment of the Harvest Home dinner, or battery-operated candlelight tours of the Knight-Pepper House during the winter season. THS volunteers can help plan and organize them.

6. Review of Recommendations in Priority Order

  1. Create a Disaster Plan.
  2. Add PFEs to both buildings.
  3. Add additional silica gel buckets to both buildings.
  4. Begin to mark objects with twill tape and thread (textiles), ink (wood, metal, ceramic, glass), pencil (books and paper) and archival tags (furniture, small objects), when possible.
  5. Seek conservation treatment for Teaching Certificate and Map.

7. Conclusion THS is a small, yet strong organization with dedicated staff and volunteers. It does an excellent job of maintaining the Knight-Pepper House, Friendship Schoolhouse and Tabernacle Cemetery. There is much commitment to the care and preservation of the buildings and their contents. Hopefully, the lack of on-site storage space will be resolved with the addition of the Construction House to the

THS administration. With continued support THS will remain undeterred in accomplishing its goals of “Preserving, Protecting, Promoting and Publishing our local histories”.

Use of the recommendations in this report is encouraged to stay aligned with current museum standards, and to enhance the preservation of the collection for the education and enjoyment of future generations.

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