Advice1pagesHow do you get to visit a study

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The Costumer's Manifesto: How do you get to visit a study collection ofcostumes in a museum?

How do you get to visit a study collection of costumes in amuseum?

Write formally or call for an appointment. (They will reply and tell you acceptable times for visiting).

In your letter/call explain what you specifically want to see or do: for example, "I am a reenactor and am involved in making costumes for my group that replicate clothing of middle class residents of Bath in 1814. I would like to view some of the hats and caps in your collection, since the construction of these is difficult to discern from illustrations." or "I am studying the designs and career of Natalia Goncharova, and have heard that the Theatre Museum has a collection of her renderings. I was wondering also if you possessed any actual dance costumes designed by Gontcharova, and whether I might be allowed to view these (if such exist) as well as the renderings in your archive." Don't just make this stuff up. Find something that you actually need/want to learn about and make that be your request.

When visiting the museum, show up on time.

Wear nice business style clothing with no sharp or dangly bits: no rings, sharp jewelry, cuff buttons that snag, etc.

Try not to bring big bags of stuff, pizza, children, cell phones, etc.

Be patient. The first hour will just be filling out forms, putting on aprons (and in some places gloves), pulling out the items, and setting up your space.

Ask before taking photos. (Usually it is best if you ask in your letter or call, since permission may only be the prerogative of somebody higher up. The intended use of the photos is also a factor, most museums will allow photos for personal study, school reports, etc. but won't allow publication in a book or web page without a fee.)

Do bring pencils and a notebook.

Give yourself at least 1/2 a day to take proper notes.

Be kind to the costumes. If this is your first time working with museum clothing, ask the curator to go through the do's and don't of how to handle them so they won't get hurt.

After your visit send a thank you note to the curator, in business form, that the costume department can use for ammo. the next time some idiot on the county council wants to cut their funding.

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