BAR 37:01, Jan/Feb 2011
Archaeological Views: Mastering the Museum Makeover
Revitalizing a museum collection, no matter what the size, has to be a labor of love. For eight years, I have been the director of the small but important Badè Museum of Biblical Archaeology at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. The core of the collection is archaeological artifacts from Tell en-Nasbeh, a site just northwest of Jerusalem, often identified as Biblical Mizpah. The site was excavated by Professor William F. Badè for Pacific School of Religion back in the 1920s and 1930s.
Before I began working at the museum, it hadn’t had a director in more than 20 years. A limited budget and the nearly continuous turnover of the museum’s small staff of curators, postdocs and graduate students meant that almost every aspect of the museum and its collection needed attention and more than a little tender loving care. Now, eight years on, I look back on what we’ve been able to accomplish with great pride.