15th Annual Board meeting and workshop




June 26, 2021

West Franklin School Museum


Meeting called to order at 9:08 am by SIAM President Claudia Dant, from the Wabash County Museum, with Pam Urban and Leanna Gray of the Perry County Museum, Cindy Birk Conley of the White County Historical Society, and Lucinda Jones of West Franklin.

Claudia addressed the need for more members, especially Zones 1 and 3, and provided maps of the organization’s territory. We had participants from Thebes for several years. Now we have memberships but not active members. 

The status of a SIAM historian was added to the agenda.

Claudia read the minutes of the March 20 and April 24 meetings. In both minutes Leanna’s name should be corrected to Gray. Cindy made a motion to approve the minutes, Pam seconded and the motion carried.

Cindy reported that the bank balance was $2817.97, plus a $35 check from Sparta Trap Shoot Museum. 33 organizational members plus one individual members.

In zone news, Pam said Perry County sponsored “Vintage in the Ville” vendor fair and garage sale. They charged $1 for parking, and had a street collection. The organization also took ownership of another building, and needs $. Lucinda mentioned meals that Mulkeytown serves monthly, and trying to get Rural Development funds. Carmi has gotten TIF funds for masonry, and should get more for window repairs. Claudia reported Richland and Lawrence counties had swap meets. Wabash County is opening the Hallock family farm exhibit 7/4/21. On 7/7 there will be a Lone Ranger session, with Dawn Moore, daughter of TV’s Clayton Moore, as part of passing the torch for a silver bullet from CA to IL.

Claudia is working on improving the website and SIAM documentation. She is working on a complete set of minutes. Leanna made a motion, seconded by Pam, to dispense with the position of historian, and dispose of 2 boxes collected by Mike Brush, former historian. Motion carried.

Claudia reported the summer meeting will be 8/28 at Mascoutah. Photography was mentioned as the fall workshop topic, and Will Shannon, presenter at the June workshop, chimed in that he started in photography and is an expert, and would be happy to provide another program. In Spring 22 Claudia will give a program on standard facilities terms.

Claudia discussed officer term lengths, which has generally been 2 to 3 years. We need to consult the bylaws.

Pam made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:55 am, Leanna seconded, and the motion carried.




June 26, 2021

West Franklin School Museum


The Workshop meeting began at 10 am at the Mulkeytown school museum. Several participants brought items for the swap meet. 

Claudia announced the annual meeting will be at the Mascoutah Heritage Museum, at 306 Main St, with lunch at Esperanza chapel. It will be a buffet meal, with SIAM paying $9 a person and charging $10. Cindy will take up money, and will get RSVPs for the meeting. The board meeting will be at 9 am, meeting at 10, lunch at 11. The speaker will be Jeanne Schultz Angel, speaking on the “Flight to Freedom”, Illinois and the Underground Railroad, and responses to slavery. There are many area connections.

Will Shannon, curator of the St. Clair County Historical Society, presented an entertaining program on Museum Money Matters.  Will discussed attitudes about money; cash flows and funding; budgets and financial management; fundraising; and planned giving. He illustrated his points with a fundraising effectiveness quiz, asking attendees to compare their rankings with those of the Fund Raising School at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.

Will took questions to end his talk, and discussed some of his museum’s special events. What started as a cemetery tour is now a multi-weekend walking tour of historic areas with paranormal stories. It takes place over 4 nights, from 5 to 10 each evening, six tours a night.

With no further business, the meeting ended at 12:07 pm.


Cindy Birk Conley

Secretary Pro-temp 

15th Annual Meeting Summary

SIAM Annual Meeting

Mascoutah Historical Society

August 28, 2021


Workshops and Meetings

Spring Workshop for 2020 was postponed and then cancelled.  Our presenters were not able to hold the meeting due to Covid 19.  This would have been our 16th year


March 20, 2021—Board Meeting at Molly’s Pint in Murphysboro, IL for planning purposes


April 24, 2021  Board Meeting, Meeting and Workshop at West Franklin Historical District & Silkwood Inn Museum at Mulkeytown, IL

Claudia Dant from the Wabash County Museum was the presenter on Writing and Following Policies and Procedures and Do’s and Don’ts given in the Steps Program and Reasons

June 26, 2021 Board Meeting, Meeting and Workshop at West Franklin Historical District & Silkwood Inn Museum at Mulkeytown, IL

William Shannon IV of St. Clair County Historical Society was the presenter for the workshop on Museum Money Matters

August 28, 2021 16th/17th Annual Meeting at Mascoutah Historical Society in Mascoutah, IL, board meeting, annual meeting and featured speaker Jeanne Schultz Angel on the topic Struggle for Freedom about the Underground Railroad in Illinois

Membership Report  SIAM currently has 34 members, 33 institutions and 1 individual.  SIAM has a website and Facebook page as well as presenting workshops on topics for improvements of area museums.

Members of the Board

Claudia Dant, President, Member of the IAM Board, President and Curator of the Wabash County Museum at Mt. Carmel, IL

Cindy Birk Conley, Treasurer, White county Historical Society at Carmi, IL

Pam Urban, Director of Zone 4 and Membership co-chair, Perry County Jail Museum at Pinkneyville, IL

Leanna Gray, Membership Chair, Perry County Jail Museum at Pinkmeyville

Debbie Goins, Director of Zone 1, from the Thebes Historical Society

Cindy Webb/Jim Jones, Co Directors of Zone 2

Vacancies:  Vice President, Secretary, Director for Zone 3.

Zone 3:  Clay, Richland, Lawrence, Wayne, Edwards and Wabash Counties



What Topics would you like to see presented at workshops?


What prevents you from attending the meetings?


Is your museum getting better each year?


What are the struggles your museum faces?


Do you visit the SIAM website periodically? www.southernillinoismuseums.org  Did you know that our past workshop materials have been placed there for you to read?  


Do you go to other museum related websites and free webinars or talks such as Museum People Helping Museum People held on the 2nd Wednesday each month?  Would you like to be notified of those meetings? Muse News and the e-mail comes from Illinois Museums.com.  To go to the site and see summaries of the old Muse News meetings go to the Museums Helping Other Museums be Better.




15th Annual Meeting Minutes


SIAM 15th Annual Meeting


Mascoutah Historical Society Museum


The 15th Annual Meting of the Southern Illinois Association of Museums opened at approximately 11:30 a.m. at the Mascoutah Historical Society Museum with SIAM President, Claudia Dant conducting the meeting.  The meal preceding the meeting was very good and was cooked by the museum staff.


The minutes of the annual meeting from 2019 were read and approved.  Leanna Gray made the motion to approve and it was seconded by Sue Waters.  There was no annual meeting in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and all meetings were canceled that year.


The attendance sheet was passed around and those present introduced themselves and mentioned the museum they were affiliated with.  A survey sheet was also passed around and those present were asked to turn it in at the close of the meeting.  Attendees were given a copy of the Treasurer’s Report and the Meeting Minutes for 2019.


The need for more Zone Directors and a Secretary were mentioned and the new Zone 1 Director was mentioned.  She is Debbie Goins from Thebes.  She was not able to attend the meeting due to a prior commitment.  Items which were brought for the Swap Meet were laid out and mentioned for folks to pick up.  


The annual report was presented by the president, giving dates and topics for board meetings and workshops.  For the membership report,  SIAM has 33 institutional members and 1 individual member.  The organization has $2,526.81 at this time.  Members of the board were introduced.


Future meeting dates have been set for October 23, 2021 in Thebes with William Shannon IV presenting about Photography Preservation.  The spring workshop date was not set but Claudia Dant has agreed to present on How to Fill Out the Standard Facilities Report, which is required before borrowing items from the Illinois State Museum and others.  


Claudia and Jeanne Schultz-Angel both mentioned the role that IAM was playing and encouraged members to do to the SIAM website and the IAM website and to attend the monthly Zoom meetings given by IAM.


Claudia Dant introduced the speaker for the annual meeting:  Jeanne Schultz-Angel.  Jeanne presented the topic of her Master’s Thesis:  The Underground Railroad.  At the time she was working at the Sheldon Peck Home and helped to prove that it was an Underground Railroad site, using letters and other papers from the family which had been preserved.  She spoke about the many reasons that people in the United States were against slavery and how the word “abolitionist” was a derogatory term at the time for a radical viewpoint.  She spoke about the possible ways a Freedom Seeker might use to escape to Canada and pointed out that there was no regular or routine route to travel.  Wisconsin was instrumental to various people seeking freedom when they escaped.  She showed many slides of people involved, newspaper ads looking for escapees and maps of Illinois to demonstrate the mixed emotions of people at the time.  Jeanne took questions during her presentation and afterwards.  The audience was very engaged on this topic.


The meeting was adjourned at approximately 12:00 and those who had not seen the museum earlier, spent time looking around.



Claudia Dant, President and Pro Tem Secretary

Museum Money Matters

Compiled for SIAM by William P. Shannon IV July, 2021
Training Manual
Kihlstedt, Andrea and Andy Robinson. Train Your Board (and Anyone Else) to Raise
Money. Medfield, MA: Emerson & Church, 2017. Attitudes About Money
I. Chris Moon, “How Childhood Shapes Your Attitude Towards Money,” Thrive Global: https://thriveglobal.com/stories/how-childhood-shapes-your-attitude-towards- money-and-what-you-can-do-about-it/
II. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, “New Research Shows Children Form Attitudes About Money at Young Age,” https://michiganross.umich.edu/rtia- articles/new-research-shows-children-form-attitudes-about-money-young-age
III. BBC Teach, “What does your attitude to money say about you?” https:// www.bbc.co.uk/teach/the-test-what-does-your-attitude-to-money-say-about-you/ zk4292p
Funding Your Organization
I. Seltzer, Michael. Securing Your Organization’s Future. New York: Foundation Center, 2001.
II. Joanne Fritz, “How Nonprofits Generate Revenue Streams,” The Balance: https:// www.thebalancesmb.com/where-do-nonprofits-get-their-revenue-2502011
III. Woods Bowman, “Beyond Sustainability: Identifying the Right Resource Mix for Growth,” Nonprofit Quarterly: https://nonprofitquarterly.org/beyond-sustainability- identifying-the-right-resource-mix-for-growth/
Budgets & Financial Management
I. National Council of Nonprofits, “Budgeting for Nonprofits,” https:// www.councilofnonprofits.org/tools-resources/budgeting-nonprofits
I. Kihlstedt and Robinson, op. cit.
II. Panas, Jerold. Asking. Medfield, MA: Emerson & Church, 2013.
III. Lansdowne, David. Fundraising Realities Every Board Must Face. Medfield, MA:
Emerson & Church, 2009.

Will’s Contact Information
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
• 618/234-0600
• stcchs.org
• Facebook: facebook.com/STCCHS • Twitter: @STCCHS

SIAM Presentation for April 24.2021

SIAM Presentation—Claudia Dant, April 24, 2021

Mulkeytown, IL

  1. Introduction
  1. Do you have a collection?
  2. Is everything you own, on exhibit?
  3. Do you have storage space?
  4. Is your storage space adequate?
  5. Are your items in the collection accessioned?
  6. Do you have a system for accessioning?
  7. Is your system backed-up?
  8. Do you assess the condition of your items?
  9. Do you have a good history?
  10. Do you de-accession items?
  11. Do you have a collections policy?
  12. Are you getting better?  Do you think your museum is doing the best that it can?


  1. Explain Steps
    1. It costs $98 for a small museum to pay annual dues for AASLH, Steps is $175 (one time fee)
    2. You work through Steps on your own pace.  Each of the 6 sections has a Progress Certificate which you can earn (send in for) 3 levels of achievement
    3. Each section has 12 to 18 standards to go through to see how well you are doing.  Most are 12-14 standards.
    4. You can go through the Sections in any order you choose.
    5. Discuss the benchmarks—Good, Better, Best
    6. Go to pages 3 and 4 in the handout


  1. Go to pages 5-7 to go over items which are unacceptable


  1. Start With Your Mission Statement


Your mission statement defines everything you do and why.  Use it.  


  1. Accessioning 
    1. Your written plan—write out what you currently do, step by step 
    2. Discuss the Standards on the photocopied sheets
    3. Use the assessment steps to see where you are—good, better, best
    4. If you aren’t there yet, make a plan to get there.  Be sure all the steps are met to be good, or better.  Be sure everyone who works for/with you knows about it.





Constructing Affordable Storage Mounts


Constructing Affordable Storage Mounts for Museum Collections

November 5, 2016

For Southern Illinois Association of Museums


What are storage mounts?

  • Boxes custom made for the size of your object with adequate supports to keep the object/artifact secure during storage
  • Protection against dirt, dust, insects, damage due to falling, stacking inappropriately or human hands while moving the object from place to place

Why do it?

  • We have a duty to protect and preserve the items in our collection
  • We can learn how to do this easily and relatively inexpensively


Types of materials to use

  • Blue/gray board—corrugated acid neutral archival quality board which can be purchased pre-cut to assemble at your facility or in bulk to cut to the size and shape you need for any odd sized object
  • Ethafoam—puffed polyethylene or polypropylene—both are inert (they cause no harm to your object) and do not deteriorate by changing chemically or crumbling
  • Ethafoam comes in MANY forms
  1. Closed cell is softer and smoother—it is often used to line rougher materials to provide a soft surface for your objects—trade name is Velara
  2. Open Cell is more common and is used for many common tasks and packing materials, it is very inexpensive
  3. Both kinds can be saved and recycled.  As long as it is clean it can be used
  4. It can be cut to any shape you need 
  5. It is available commercially from museum supply companies in several shapes
  6. It can be glued easily


  • Tyvek—used for heavy duty mailing envelopes, hazmat suits and other things.  Tyvek can be washed and reused if you can get it from another source
  • Coroplast—commonly used for sign making so it is widely available and can also be washed and reused
  • Twill tape—soft cloth tape used to tag or tie objects


Other supplies you will need

  • Good scissors
  • Metal yard stick or meter stick  (Meter sticks will allow you to make more exact measurements
  • Cloth measuring tape—metric if you can find it
  • Box cutter or utility knife—locking blade type
  • Glue gun—with large stick capacity
  • Hot melt type glue sticks—are archival but must be ordered from archival supply house
  • Compass—used for making arcs and circles if needed
  • Teflon tape—plumbers tape
  • Other heavy duty archival tape—Filmoplast is one brand name—comes in different widths and is available plain or linen backed
  • Buffered tissue paper—in some cases
  • Mylar may be needed in some cases
  • Polyester batting may be needed to make pillow backs or added padding
  • Pencils and good erasers
  • Wabash County Museum spent $244.72 for tools initially this fall to get started but we have a source of free Coroplast to use for a time.  I have also written a grant for $559.37 for more supplies (grayboard, Ethafoam lining).  The materials should last for a year or so depending on how many boxes we make in that time period and their sizes.


Kinds of things you can make 

  • Divided boxes
  • Boxes with Ethafoam supports
  • Boxes with twill tape ties
  • Supports for hats
  • Supports for round items with ceramic pots with flat bottoms
  • Supports for round objects with round bottoms—like native American pottery
  • Boxes with Mylar windows
  • Custom shaped boxes
  • Folio boxes
  • You can add supports and mounts to boxes you have purchased


Other sources of information

  • National Park Service Management Manual
  • STASCHC.com (Storage Techniques for Art, Science and History Collections)
  • Conservograms—by National Park Service



  • Talis
  • Gaylord Metal Edge
  • Hollinger
  • Masterpack

Annual Meeting, August 2, 2014

Annual meeting, August 2, 2014

Federal/State Grant Opportunities

Accessioning Info-Claudia Dant

SIAM General Meeting, April 23, 2012

SIAM General Meeting, Oct.24, 2011


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