This week, due to the holiday, the museum was closed on Monday, 2/21, so I was there only that Wednesday. I still had no access to the computer system, so I could not catalog any artifacts on the computer. Instead, John decided to have me do so manually to put into the computer system later.
The first object I worked with was a journal that cataloged mine output and materials from the mid 1900’s. I logged information such as the donor, their adress, the type of donation, the year the item was from / years of use, a physical description of the item, materials the item is made up of, measurements of the item, a description of any damages, and it’s Chenhall name and number. In the description, I not only noted the outward appearance, but also some of the content written in the journal, specifically the locations of the mines written down inside.
We also reaccessioned a “lost” item. The item was a piano, which was not truly lost, but at one point had lost it’s accession number and therefore was missing from the collection. John was sure that this was the piano, due to the fact that we only had one upright piano, and it matched the minimal description. The process of this was very similar to the first process of accessioning an item, only I was redoing the description. Because the previous description was very vague, I went into more detail; specifically in embellishments on the piano, such as company name and location. Then I created a label on the piano for the accession number.
The label is created from an archival polish and paint to make a white background for the accession number. I places it at the back right bottom of the piano, as small as I could make it, and then over it wrote the accession number. I sealed it in with the clear polish so that way it would not rub off.
It was interesting to see how an item can get “lost” in a collection, and how previous records can be unhelpful in describing an artifact. This proved to me that it is important to be as descriptive as possible in order to prevent future mix-ups or problems should something happen, or an artifact goes missing.