Rachael Cristine Woody

Rachael Cristine Woody is a guest author for Lucidea’s Think Clearly Blog. Rachael is the Owner of Rachael Cristine Consulting, and provides services to museums, libraries, and archives. Previously she was at the Freer|Sackler Museum of the Smithsonian Institution and the Oregon Wine History Archive at Linfield College. She is active in Northwest Archivists and the Society of American Archivists, and is an alumna of the Archives Leadership Institute, a National Historical Publications & Records Commission (NHPRC) program.

Recent Posts

Museums with Zero Funding—Stop Saying These 4 Phrases

3 minute read
Posted by Rachael Cristine Woody on 7/18/2018

With few exceptions museums rely on grant funding to supplement their annual budget. While it’s recommended a museum cultivate a stream of income that supports its yearly activities, most museums can only afford to keep the lights on and maintain a spartan staff.

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Topics: Museums, Strategy, Funding

5 Times LAMs Should Bring in a Consultant

3 minute read
Posted by Rachael Cristine Woody on 6/27/2018

Working with collections in a library, archives, or museum (LAM) setting requires knowledgeable professionals. Through a combination of specialized education and experience gained in the field, professionals amass knowledge and skills developed for a very niche area. Most positions found within a LAM will require a high level of education and experience, but not every professional position needed can be funded.

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Topics: Museums, Archives, Collections Management

When Your Archives and Special Collections Aren't Special

4 minute read
Posted by Rachael Cristine Woody on 6/20/2018

As discussed in a previous Library, Archives, and Museum (LAM) post, archives and special collections are often found within museums. While “special” is indicated in the name, the specialness can cause heartache and extra work for staff members who aren’t used to working with Archives and Special Collections (ASCs). This post will help define what ASCs are and identify common areas where ASCs aren’t special.

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Topics: Museums, Archives, Collections Management

Navigating the Museum | Archive Relationship

4 minute read
Posted by Rachael Cristine Woody on 6/13/2018

At any given time, museum visitors only see 10% of a museum collection. When I was working at the Smithsonian, I believe the statistic was even lower—a whopping 1% of collection materials were on display! Now consider the possibility of a related but differently categorized collection – that of the museum’s archives. Archival materials rarely make it onto the museum’s exhibition floor and yet they are critically important to correctly interpreting the museum’s objects.

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Topics: Museums, Archives, Collections Management

Define Museum Success & Measure It

3 minute read
Posted by Rachael Cristine Woody on 6/6/2018

Museums are filled with experts in collections care, display, and education, but they aren’t always filled with experts in project management. Defining and measuring project success is not a practice I see conducted consistently in museums.

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Topics: Museums, Strategy

How to Best Leverage Museum Volunteers

3 minute read
Posted by Rachael Cristine Woody on 5/30/2018

Staffing shortages are a common issue for museums. As in many nonprofit sectors, museums manage staffing shortfalls with volunteers. Volunteers can be a huge benefit to a museum because they often come with expertise and skills acquired from a lifetime of experiences.

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Topics: Museums, Training, Strategy

Effective Technology Training for Museum Volunteers & Interns

3 minute read
Posted by Rachael Cristine Woody on 5/23/2018

Museums are now expected to have an online presence. At first, this meant museums needed a website with information about their hours of operation. Later, it meant museums should publish content and information about current and permanent exhibits. Now, the expectation is that museums have a digital presence for all artifacts.

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Topics: Museums, Training, Strategy

The Intersection of Libraries, Archives & Museums

3 minute read
Posted by Rachael Cristine Woody on 5/16/2018

There’s no one model for libraries, archives and museums to coexist and interact. Each entity can be a stand-alone repository, a mixture of two entities, or contain all three entities. Library, Archive, and Museum (LAM) professionals are trained in organizing and categorizing items in their respective collections. Since this is their specialty they’ve applied the same principles to classify LAM entities separately, due to the LAM's slightly different functions and collection materials.

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Topics: Museums, Special Libraries, Digital Archives, Archives, Collections Management

8 Tips to a Bulletproof Grant Proposal

3 minute read
Posted by Rachael Cristine Woody on 5/9/2018

Grant writing can be a complicated and intensive process. Each grant application will have a different emphasis and process to follow, and if you’re new to grant writing, it can be intimidating. While all grants are different, there are aspects that remain the same. From the dozens of grants I’ve written, read, and edited, I’ve compiled the top 8 tips to a bulletproof proposal.

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Topics: Museums, Funding

Museum Grant Pitfalls—Know & Avoid Them

3 minute read
Posted by Rachael Cristine Woody on 4/25/2018

Through working with granting agencies, providing grant reviews, and writing grants with museums and archives, I’ve seen a specific set of mistakes museum professionals make all the time. I’ve even made some of them myself. I want museums to be stronger applicants and am here to share the most common museum grant pitfalls to know and avoid.

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Topics: Museums, Funding

Top 4 Funding Ideas for Museums

4 minute read
Posted by Rachael Cristine Woody on 4/18/2018

In my work as a museum, library, and archives consultant, I’ve had a great amount of exposure to the fundraising world. Money is so often needed in order to meet museum missions, and grants are often a popular way to secure funding. Through my role as a grant writer and reviewer, I’ve decoded the top four museum funding ideas that are often well received by granting agencies.

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Topics: Museums, Funding

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