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Original Message:   Conserving Bead Collections
I want to remark that while archaeological beads are and should be of great interest, there are two other classes of beads (and more if we think about it) that are significant too.

We also have ethnographic beads (sometime called "living beads"), from cultures of the past and recent past, that are still in the hands of users (or have been collected recently), that are or may be significant parts of material culture. These, by definition, are not "archaeological."

There are also, mainly over the previous thirty-something years, extraordinary products, made by industries, and individual artisans, that are highly worthy of being collected and conserved (for future posterity). Also very different from "Archaeology."

Since 1993 I have presented myself as, not only a collector, researcher, archivist, and consultant, but also as an appraiser. I have appraised quite a few collections, large and small, since that time—that began with the Liese Collections for The Bead Museum. It took me sixteen (16) years to document these impressive objects. Most appraisals are not so demanding (!).

I am in the same quandary as anyone else. Until 2011, when The Bead Museum folded, I had an actual will that donated everything I own to The Bead Museum. At this time I only have vague provisional ideas about what to do.... So I would be the first one to say—there are no easy answers.

Jamey

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