Museum faculty, staff and students consult with other companies and museums around the state, including ones like these:
Antique Toy and Fire House Museum:
The owner of a private Antique Toy and Fire House Museum enlisted the
help of a team from CMU's Museum and Museum Studies program to help
bring it up to museum standards and prepare it for a public space.
The Carroll Shelby Collection: The owner of a private Carroll Shelby collection enlisted the help of a
team from CMU’s museum studies program to help bring it up to museum
standards and prepare it for a public space.
Collector enlists museum studies program to bring private car collection up to museum standards
July 21, 2015
William Deary's private Carroll Shelby collection is like walking into
the world of the legendary automotive designer and race car driver.
Deary has a vision of bringing the expansive collection – known as The Carroll CollectionSM
– into a public museum space. To help make this happen, he enlisted an
elite team from Central Michigan University's museum studies program.
goal is to ultimately create an accredited museum," Deary said. "We
engaged Central Michigan University and the museum studies program to
come in and help us turn our collection into a proper museum."
team, including graduate students in the cultural resource management
program, undergraduate students in the museum studies program and
faculty advisors, began working with the collection in 2014. They are
documenting each of the items, including several cars, one of which was
personally owned by Shelby, as well as an array of memorabilia, original documents, Shelby American employees' personal items and collectibles.
role is to help document this collection and prepare it to not only
meet the highest museum standards possible but also to prepare it for a
public space," Jay Martin, director of CMU's Museum of Cultural and
Natural History and director of CMU's museum studies program, said.
Martin says this project is giving the students an incredibly unique, hands-on museum studies experience.
kind of work our students and faculty are doing here is the kind of
work you would actually see done in the Smithsonian or the Museum of
Science and Industry," he said. "So when you think of a relatively small
museum studies program at CMU that produces students that can go
directly to work in one of those major institutions, that is a very
"In most museum studies programs, students never get near a collection as significant and valuable as this," Martin said.
the project is a learning experience for the students, it also is for
Deary. Working alongside the CMU team, he has learned about proper
software for a museum, cataloging and categorizing, and much more.
the faculty work with the students, I have gotten a feel for the
underpinnings and the foundation of a museum operationally and
logistically, as opposed to just being a place where you go and enjoy
experiencing something," Deary said.
As the CMU team continues to work on the project, which likely will
last several more years, Deary is planning for the future of his
"One of the things we have proposed – and are in
initial discussions with Ford and the Henry Ford Foundation – is
actually building a recreation of Carroll Shelby's shop in Venice,
California, at the Henry Ford Museum and bringing our collection there,"
Deary said. "Our goal would be to proliferate The Carroll Collection in
a more public space, ideally the Henry Ford. This would allow people to
enjoy the history of Carroll Shelby and the legacy of the employees of
Shelby American who were an important part of the world championship
dominance of Ford Motor Company throughout the 1960s, for many, many
years to come."