When and Why You Might Consider Separating Collection Containers from Their Original Contents

Thomas J. Braun


On several occasions in recent years at the Minnesota Historical Society, it has become necessary to transfer the original liquid contents from several containers held within our collections. Typically this was done in order to better preserve both the container and the contents. There are numerous Curatorial rationales behind these decisions, and I will explore a few of these situations. One particularly interesting example were two one-gallon bottles of perfume, which upon investigation were part of an elaborate and illegal scheme to avoid anti-liquor laws during Prohibition! Other examples include when the contents are potentially less relevant than the container, or when the contents might be harmful to the container.

2019 | Uncasville | Volume 26