What are museum staff paid for? A response to Richard Robins

24th May 2014

Sandra Bowdler


It has always been to me a matter of profound personal, if completely unprofessional, regret, that I was not able to keep the shell fish hooks from Bass Point (see Bowdler 1970, 1976). They would have made a most attractive display, on red velvet perhaps, in a little rosewood cabinet in my drawing room, to be admired by visitors and tradespeople. As things stood, I was obliged by the conditions of my permit (very possibly the first issued for a professional archaeological) excavation in New South Wales) to turn them over, with the rest of the excavated material, to the Australian Museum in Sydney. Even without such a permit, I would probably have done so anyway. To make a few obvious points, they clearly should be kept with the rest of the Bass Point material, I might not look after them very well, and their fate on my death might be at risk, were I to die intestate, or not make specific provisions for them in my will. Most archaeologists with any professional sense of responsibility would want to take this sort of thing into account, whatever their personal inclinations.

*Note that an abstract was not included with this paper, and so the introductory paragraph has been included here instead of the abstract.

Bowdler, S.
What are museum staff paid for? A response to Richard Robins
June 1990
Short Report
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