Written descriptions of objects in an organization’s collection remain static and only say so much about the object’s relation to a person.

Dan Taylor and Mark Rawitsch explain how using videotapes can strengthen the interpretation of objects. They provide step-by-step instructions for implementing a video documentation project to improve the record of an object’s history.

They also provide ideas for how to use the footage captured for programs other than enhancing the catalog record, such as interpretation.

Though the technology discussed is outdated and there are many more resources for an audio-visual record of objects, the principles and rationale for creating a videotape record will be helpful to museum professionals in institutions of all sizes.

Technical Leaflet #167 (1989)