Thursday, June 17, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

By John Hart, Assistant Curator of Collections

It’s June, the CGP students have graduated or have left for their internships, the museums are open, the weather is nice (albeit a little hot); now it’s Inventory Season for the collections staff!

Some of you might not think that inventorying a collection is so wonderful, but it really is, at least for me. I don’t always get the chance to wander through the collections areas and see what we have, let alone get a chance to see what things look like. But now that I have a bit more free time on my hands, I can start working on our Inventory Plan. If you don’t speak museum-ese, this is our way of saying “Schedule”, in our case, on a five-year rotation. This year happens to focus on our two second floor wing spaces at Iroquois Storage Facility, or at least we’ll attempt to get both done.

I decided to start on the wing that I thought would be the hardest, in part because as soon as you walk in you immediately see upwards of 500 or more wood planes. We have a pretty large collection of planes of all shapes, sizes, cut patterns, and makers and it’s pretty daunting at first to think about going through and checking each one for an accession number. I managed to get through them in a little over a day and a half. Now it’s on to the next dozen or so shelves, racks, eaves and overhangs, and miscellaneous spaces where objects have been living for years.

I don’t mind the work, it’s actually pretty fun, and it’s what I’ve been doing since I began interning or volunteering at museums. It really is a great way to know what you have in the collection in case someone ever asks “Do you have a…”

It really is a wonderful time of year, even if that means going through 3,803 objects, which happens to be our present count of objects in the wing….

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