This week at Day in the Life, we will be featuring the Registrar for the Clinton Presidential Library: Joe Angemi, Jr! It has been an exciting time this past year since he joined us, and I personally have learned a lot about federal employment, career advice and general training from Joe. As the Registrar, his main job is being in charge of the collection. What does this mean? Well, for starters, he looks over the facilities, such as the storage, and determines that they are properly working. Is the temperature and humidity okay, and what happens if it turned off in the middle of the night for some reason? Incoming and outgoing loans are also high priority on his list – just like we talked about last time when we get a temporary exhibit. Did we get everything? Is it in good, working order? Did something break that we need to replace? Since this is a small museum staff, you will see a lot of overlapping. This can include doing things such as inventory. We have an inventory goal for each quarter (2,500 objects), and Joe makes sure that he assigns himself some time in his busy work week to help with this goal.
It was interesting to note that while Joe comes with a TON of museum experience, he did not use TMS (the cataloging system here at the Clinton Library, The Museum System) until he came to this job. I also did not use TMS, as there are a lot of different types of software out there that any museum can use, depending on their collection. The neat thing that Joe brought to my attention is the fact that, even after working here for over a year, he is still learning all the time because of how vast the collection is here at the Clinton Library. Sometimes he shows up for work with a specific task in mind, and by the end of the day it has changed dramatically depending on the people who are here, situations that arise, and other things.
Before working at the Clinton Library, Joe worked a few others jobs that added to his 20 years of experience working in museums. One of the most exciting ones I have heard about from him in when he worked at Independence Hall, in Philadelphia. How awesome it must have been to work around such historical objects and stories of the birth of America! One of his most memorable moments was when he was able to give an education lesson to a group of men. These men, well, let’s just say that they were looking for drama. Instead of throwing them out of the tour, Joe turned it around and made it a teachable lesson. Most tour guide give a “stock tour”. Not to say that we don’t alter it for the group, but in general we all follow a similar tour each time so that we know we covered all the information in a short time frame. Not this time! Joe gave the “peace, love and melting pot tour” to educate these men in what it was to live in a diverse and open American, free from prejudice, hatred and bigotry. Other interesting things Joe has done: Moved the Liberty Bell, installed the Magna Carta in Philadelphia and worked with original documents like the Constitution and Articles of Confederation. How cool!
Another job that Joe had was with The Avalon History Center. There, he was able to help re-open the museum and become a Director! This museum deals more specifically with New Jersey regional history, such as the history of the beach and agriculture. It’s amazing the differences between different parts of the state, and you can really tell that Joe loves to talk about his state!
Keep your eyes to this blog, we still have Jennifer and Christine we need to talk about, and our other GA Joseph may make a special appearance!