My project for this week was to accession a group of items donated to the museum from a local family. This collection of items was particularly interesting because it pertained to the COVID-19 Pandemic. There were items such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer, masks, Clorox wipes, anti-microbial spray, and other items that would have been in demand in the early stages of the pandemic.
I was responsible for accessioning all the items, meaning I wrote descriptions, assessed the quality of the item and if there was any damage to it, its measurements, and its relevance to the collection. I enjoyed this process, as it was somewhat different from cataloging a stand alone item. I worked to create a digital description for the collection to explain the use of the items, the relevance, and how / when it was used. I also took photographs of the items to upload to the PHMC’s digital collection management system for others to be able to view and use.
I enjoyed working with these items, and it was interesting to catalog something with historical preservation in mind that to me only happened somewhat recently. I think collections like these will become very important in the near future, as more people will not have experienced living and working through the pandemic. I also enjoyed being able to accession a group of items on my own, as I had only done the somewhat simpler task of accessioning single items before. This was a wonderful hands on learning experience for me and made me more confident in assessing and describing artifacts.