by Bronwyn Phillips, Blog 6
As part of my Directed Study, I continued with the audit of the collection and moved into the storeroom, which houses most of the items in the collection. The storeroom is kept at a constant temperature of 19 degrees Celsius, which is the ideal temperature for the collection’s preservation. Mostly I have discovered that when you work in a museum everything you do takes longer than you think. Everything is a long slow process and museums in general need to have a lot more resources to conduct their work properly and professionally. For a volunteer to do the equivalent of two full time weeks it would take four months of real-time.
I started this audit with document drawer 17. There were a number of important documents in this drawer that did not have accession numbers, even though most were well wrapped in acid proof paper.
However, all the very important hand painted caricatures by John Chinner, produced in ink and watercolour in 1902 of famous military and political figures (including G Barton). They were, however, well covered in museum quality cellophane.
[Historical note: Exhibited in S.A. Society of Arts. Exhibition priced at six pounds and six shillings, dated September 16, 1902. Unley Art Loan Exhibition, labels on back mounting. Chinner’s cartoons appeared in most Adelaide newspapers as well as the Bulletin and London Punch. He was also Insurance Manager and Unley Councillor for 10 years and Mayor for two terms. Significance: Local/S.A./Government/Arts. (Unley Museum data base search Horizon)]
After checking the document and map drawers, I moved to the textile boxes and randomly checked some of them. Volunteer Barbara has repackaged and conducted a box by box analysis of the textile collection.
Finally I went through sections of the rest of the collection, including the shelves, document boxes and small object boxes, and finished off with a count of what was on the shelves and whether the items were boxed or wrapped. Whilst doing this audit I have been on particular lookout for items that are;
- not stored correctly
- in poor condition
- in need of restoration
- not accessioned
- incorrectly placed
As I audited the collection I wrote down everything I would need to refer to later when I wrote my report.
Photographs from the Unley Museum site accessed at: http://www.unley.sa.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=912&c=16929 on 16-6-2011.