Monday, July 1, 2013

Curation Update: The End of the Beginning

by Jessica Brody, Head Curator

I've been told that at the start of the artifact re-housing project in 2009, there was no way to quantify the number of boxes in storage. It was too daunting task to attempt. Today, in the "cooler" weather I spent the morning checking corners of the now near-empty storage. 64 boxes of artifacts remain in the temporary storage area and about others 30 brought up to the museum this week.

Completing the re-housing the artifacts isn't the end of the Inventory Project, but it marks a huge milestone in the care of the collections. Massive, really. The next phase will involve the re-organization of the files and paperwork, also in temporary storage. Anne Morgan, our visiting archivist, developed a system very similar to the volunteer curation process that we will use to create searchable database records for the documentation. As we enter information into the database, we will be able to match the records to the artifacts.

The biggest challenge in caring for this collection is the divorce of the artifacts from the records. I'd like to personally invite the community, who has worked so hard to care for these records for so long, to help us create a full, informative, researchable archive. The information we work with over the coming months will form the basis for our first permanent exhibit and educational programming. This is a very exciting time to be part of the Inventory Project.

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