If you live the Milwaukee Metro area and want to know more about food…

check out my favorite foodie blog by Jeanette Hurt:


She has also written several books about one my favorite foods, cheese, as well as many how to books for Idiot Guides.  Check her out on Amazon.com or here in Milwaukee at Boswell books: http://boswell.indiebound.com/

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What is a budget?

The word “budget” comes from the french word for “purse” as in a place where your money is kept.
A budget is a monetary expression of a plan. To plan is to anticipate costs in order to balance expenses with income. A budget should be a tool to control costs and provide accountability.  Good questions to ask when developing a budget for a group:  Who controls the budget (i.e. the authority)?  What is the procedure for going over the budget?

Budgeting from Topic Gateway Series quoted from: http://www1.cimaglobal.com/Documents/ImportedDocuments/cig_tg_budgeting_mar08.pdf

“In practice
The main purposes of budgeting relate to planning and control, and supporting the achievement of strategic plans by:
1. Translating the long-term plan into an annual work programme.
2. Co-ordinating the various departments of the organisation to ensure they are working in harmony.
A budget requires managers to consider the relationship between their operations and those of other departments. Otherwise, managers might make decisions in their own interests, rather than the
company’s best interests.
3. Communicating plans to those who will be held accountable. Each department or individual should understand what role they play in helping the organisation achieve its plans. Key individuals are held accountable for the outcome of departments or teams, known as budget centres. A budget centre is: ‘A section of an entity for which control may be exercised through prepared budgets. It is often a responsibility centre where the manager has authority over, and responsibility for, defined costs and (possibly) revenues.’ (CIMA Official Terminology, 2005)

In addition to the allocation of resources, budgeting also provides the authority for expenditure. It may be used to motivate staff by including performance against budget in the organisation’s remuneration scheme.”


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Sometimes you need more than research…sometimes you just need that “ah ha!” moment!

A little something I learned while working on a project for the American Geographical Society Library…

Working on the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant to preserve and share the American Geographical Society Library’s historic nitrate negatives has been interesting, to say the least. The collections we have been working with date between 1890 and 1950 and come from a range of geographer/photographers. Some of the collections we have worked with are huge– as they embody a life’s work. One of our biggest collections comes from esteemed photographer, Harrison Forman, who was not a geographer but traveled the globe with his many cameras and we happen to be the fortunate repository for his collection.   We have lots of stories froma and about Mr. Forman, keep checking this blog for the next tidbit.  Other size-able collections, such as Robert Swanton Platt’s career photography of North, Central and South America, and Robert Larimore Pendlton’s career photography of Thailand, have provided little gems of intrigue over the past three years.  There are many stories and conundrums about these collections, one of my favorites follows here…

After looking at 10,000+ images and their corresponding photographic notes, you start to get to know the photographer, their style, their interests, thought process and sense of humor (or lack there of).  This was certainly the case with “Papa” Pendleton.  We learned early on that Robert Larimore Pendleton and his wife Anne spent most of their married life in Thailand, never had children, and were respected and loved by the Thai people that interacted with them for more than 30 years. (Thus, the Thai term of endearment, “Papa”.)  We learned over time, while working with Pendleton’s collection, that he had a definite sense of humor. 

His photographic notes are filled with wit, humor, and “inside” jokes.  Sometimes it takes a while to figure out the inside jokes!  For example, around image 12,000, we find Pendleton in the market place of Bangkok.  He takes lots of pictures of the various streets filled with vendors, including Bangkok’s Chinatown.  We come across a whole roll of film that has images of the markets “from the Boo-eek”.  Yes, you read that right, from the Boo-eek, spelled just like that.  Hummm.  Could it be a phonetic spelling for a bridge, a building, a particular part of Bangkok’s Chinatown?  (Sometimes Papa did that, gave us just enough of the phonetic spelling to figure it out.)  All kinds of searches and translations are attempted and we could not figure out what “Boo-eek” was.  This is a huge, time based grant project we are working on, our team can’t spend any more time on this so it goes up into our collection without explanation of what “Boo-eek” really is.  Months later, we come across an image of a car on a country road. The photographic note read:  “Looking east NE.  Boo-eek.”  Huh?  This is a picture of a car on a country road.  There is no market.  Just a road, trees, clouds, and the car.  We zoom in on the car, a c.1940’s Buick sedan.  A “Bu-ick”.  Get it?  It was a phonetic joke, that prankster Papa Pendleton!  Once we figured out Papa’s little prank, we “googled” Buick and Boo-eek and low and behold it shows up in a 1970’s text by a french man.  Now we are wondering how widespread this funny phonetic was used across the continents! 

You can see these images for yourself, just go to UWM Libraries Digital Collections  ( http://collections.lib.uwm.edu/cdm/ ) and put “Boo-eek” in the search bar or you can try this link:                                                                                                                      http://collections.lib.uwm.edu/cdm/search/searchterm/boo-eek/field/all/mode/all/conn/and/order/title/ad/asc/cosuppress/0


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OMG Jenny Lawson is hilarlious!

If you have never read her, check her out: https://www.facebook.com/jennythebloggess

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Preservation Topic: Hazards in Gem & Mineral Collections

This topic often surprises people: dangerous materials that came from the earth such as arsenic, poisionous off-gassing of deteriorating minerals, and radio-active rocks.  If you work in a collection that houses rocks and minerals, do your due diligence!  Here are some resources:  Storage of Natural History Collections: A Preventative Conservation Approach, edited by Rose, Hawks & Genoways.

Health & Safety for Museum Professionals, edited by Catharine Hawks et al (Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections, 2011) http://www.spnhc.org/30/reference-books   

The Care and Conservation of Geological Material: Minerals, Rocks, Meteorites, and Lunar Finds, Frank Howie (Butterworth-Heinemann, 1992)

NPS Conserv-O-grams: http://www.cr.nps.gov/museum/publications/conserveogram/cons_toc.html


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Looting in Syria

Blogger Paul Barford, a British archaeologist living and working in Warsaw Poland started a blog about research on artefact hunting and collecting and the market in portable antiquities in the international context.  He just posted an article about the looting happening in Syria right now.  Check it out

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Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act might be dead but don’t be surprised if it comes back in another form. If you don’t know about these acts check out Wikipedia’s documentation of these two acts: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Online_Piracy_Act
and a recap from Neowin: http://www.neowin.net/news/dont-expect-another-sopapipa-blow-up-in-2013

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