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  Flown hardware code of ethics for curators (Page 3)

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Author Topic:   Flown hardware code of ethics for curators

Posts: 1151
From: Birmingham AL USA
Registered: Aug 2010

posted 09-15-2012 02:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fredtrav   Click Here to Email fredtrav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A whitelist will confer knowledge. It will not take away anyone's right to do with their property what they wish. It will give a seller of an artifact a good idea that when he sells it to someone who pledges to preserve it, he can feel more at ease with the sale.

It is not about trumpeting one set of principles, it is about an owners desire to know what might happen to an item he sells. If he has two people asking to buy an object and one has signed on to the principles established in the whitelist and the other does not, then the seller has the right to choose with some knowledge the buyer he wishes to sell to. In that context it is conferring a right, the right of the seller to make an informed decision.

It would be a voluntary code, if someone breaks it there are no penalties other then to perhaps remove that person from the list. the only way the seller will get protection in an absolute manner is to have a contract setting out the terms of sale including what the buyer can do if he decides to sell or otherwise dispose of it.


Posts: 1416
From: Beverly Hills, Calif.
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 09-15-2012 02:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for chet   Click Here to Email chet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Which doesn't make the replicas artifacts themselves, nor does it suggest that the museums wouldn't desire the authentic item over the replica.
But that's not what was being discussed. If the genuine articles aren't available it doesn't mean it becomes impossible to secure a legacy for the future. A sense of wonder can be conveyed and accurate preservation of information can be accomplished using replicas. I'm just pointing out the fallacy of proclaiming that it can't be unless actual genuine articles are used. Preservation of original items for such use may be ideal, but it isn't necessarily essential.


Posts: 11
From: Dallas, TX, USA
Registered: Jul 2012

posted 09-28-2012 10:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for z0sense     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I know I am late to this post, but just wanted to add a couple of comments...

I read through many of the post, and there appeared to be plenty of repetitive I apologize if this was mentioned and I skimmed over it:

  1. As far as cutting up "artifacts" in most cases for me I see no problem with it. It's unfortunate some items are so expensive, and not everyone has enough money to purchase one of three lunar modules from Langley. Giving less fortunate individuals an opportunity to own such a valuable piece of history can only expand the "trade" and goes further towards preserving any relevant history.

    Naturally this is my opinion, and we could go back and forth, but to me it seems there should be no reason to get upset, and those that do are only doing so because of self interest... not public interest. Many people I know have never seen items from space, but that doesn't change the fact they are aware of its history, and doesn't mean they are being deprived, most only see pictures anyways.

  2. As for preserving, protecting, etc. It was mentioned earlier about the condition items are kept at NASA in particular. Once an item has lived its "useful" life, it is kept in the worst of conditions.

    Nonetheless, even if someone thinks they can do a better job, that does not give them the right to remove an item from government property without following the correct channels. Further, just because someone (i.e. employee) sees value in an item, that NASA may have missed, it is that person's responsibility to make NASA aware and let NASA decide, not to mention its mandated!

    In addition, NASA allows employees to be given gifts, request artifacts, etc. pretty much they say it should be of nominal value and not an everyday thing (i.e. maybe to motivate employees, etc.)

  3. Lastly, I have lots and lots of items I am still researching. It's not like NASA makes it easy to know if something you have is of significance anyways. I've reached out to a few, and I understand that not everyone can help because they are busy.

    I guess what I am saying is that sometime because of the lack of support and/or interest, some items people may never get to see cut up or not. Once I can get a catalog together with pictures, I will email some of you and post on here to see if anyone can help.

    Right now I have about 7,000 square feet worth of stuff packed in crates (not floor to ceiling though) that I am trying to mull over... as you can imagine, a single crate might contain one item or 1000+ small serialized items.

james f. ruddy

Posts: 53
From: Rancho Mirage, CA
Registered: Nov 2008

posted 10-02-2012 06:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for james f. ruddy   Click Here to Email james f. ruddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have been a dealer in numismatics (Bowers and Ruddy Galleries) and a collector of U.S. Presidental letters and documents which I exhibited, piece by piece, every month in the Palm Springs, Cal. Library for almost 15 years. My 1930s General Store Museum, celebrateing it's 25th anniversity in Palm Springs, is a non-profit (501c3) time capsule of the late '30s and early '40s and nothing is for sale. I was the curator until 2004 when I donated the entire museum to the City.

In my experenced opinion I believe we may be loseing the importance of the excellent advice and opinion that started this thread by 'kyra'. I would only add that sunlight or even reflected sunlight is detrimental to any collectable.

Originally posted by kyra:
Cutatorial ownership is a big reponsibility involving numerous points.
  • Is the item being preserved from environmental effects as reasonably as possible?

  • Is the item protected from theft, fire, and natural disasters within reason?

  • Is the items' whereabouts or at a way to contact the curator publicly available? Is a record of provenance being kept?

  • Is the item on display (even digitally) in such a way where the public can inquire about it? In the case of flight documents an online or available by request scan is mandatory.

  • Is there a plan for transfer in the event of death/disability of the private curator or institution?
If any of these items is answered "No", then attention should be made to address the issue or transfer the item to a private or public curator who can meet all the criteria.

My space collection and information about the 1930s General Store Museum can be seen at here.


Posts: 1151
From: Birmingham AL USA
Registered: Aug 2010

posted 10-02-2012 11:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fredtrav   Click Here to Email fredtrav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Originally posted by z0sense:
Giving less fortunate individuals an opportunity to own such a valuable piece of history can only expand the "trade" and goes further towards preserving any relevant history.
There are plenty of small bits of stuff floating around that people can buy if they wish to own a piece of our space history. I would hate to see something important destroyed just to make it into a card or lucite so someone can own a little bit of it.

I probably never will be able to afford an American flag flown to the lunar surface, but I would hate to see one cut into a hundred or more pieces, stuck on a card and sold off. I would rather see one hung in a museum (I know they do not curate all their items well), than buy a small piece of one. I could not even contemplate cutting up a CM to sell it off piece by piece.

That being said, if it is owned by an individual, it is their property and it is their right to do with it what they will. I have the right not to buy from them.

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