Spotlight on collections! The collections audit.

This is the first collections blog for Nuneaton Museum, where shall we begin…

Like all museums, we need to know what objects we have in the collection, where they are and what condition they are in. We have recently started an audit of the museum collection to update our current documentation. 

A collections audit involves staff members and volunteers working systematically through the boxes in store and items on display noting the object number, condition, brief description and exact location of each object. A digital photograph is also taken of each object, which will help us with identifying objects more easily at a later stage, sourcing objects for exhibitions more quickly and allow us to put visual records of these objects online for people to see.

One of the areas of the collection that requires more attention than the rest is our ephemera (written and printed material) and photographs. We have a small archive, which includes photographs of local places and people, cards, postcards, letters, leaflets and documents. The majority of this paper-based collection is currently unsorted into themes, has no recorded permanent location and no digital scan for our database. There are also photographs of which appear to have very little documentation connected to them. We shall take the opportunity during the audit to carry out some research and try to find out a bit more about these.

 

These photographs were taken in store the other day whilst I was carrying out some preparation work for the audit. The ephemera will be stored in acid free packaging materials such as the box pictured. Our stores are quite crowded and it is often hard to create space. With a bit of planning and identifying homes for specific objects, I was amazingly able to make a start in creating space for the ephemera collection!

The museum is currently recruiting volunteers to assist with the audit of the ephemera, if you are interested in helping please either drop me an email on janine.fox@nuneatonandbedworth.gov.uk or telephone the museum on 024 76350 720.

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About janineclarefox

My name is Janine Fox and I am Assistant Museum Officer at Nuneaton Museum & Art Gallery. My role is to care and document the museum collection. Working within a small team means I also help install exhibitions, carry out research for enquiries and assist with larger museum projects. What inspires me? Apart from tea and chocolate, I would say travel, photography, art and anything old with a story to tell! It will come as no surprise that I love my job; I work with objects, ensuring that they are looked after, made available for the public and that their stories are recorded for perpetuity.
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