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What’s happening next? « The Polar Museum: news blog

The Polar Museum: news blog

What’s happening next?

Now that the museum has opened and our party dresses have been put away, it’s time to get on with the rest of the project.

Checking the condition of objects

Ronald and Willow condition-checking reserve collection objects

As I mentioned in my last blog, we currently display approximately 18% of our artefact collection, but what is happening to the rest of the objects in the reserve collection? Every object is in the processes of being condition checked, meaning an assessment of its condition and conservation needs are recorded. In the image above Ronald, one of our band of volunteers, is condition checking a cup using a checklist. Apart from details such as description and accession number, the form asks three main question; what condition is the object in now (A – excellent to D – poor), how stable is it (1 – stable to 4 – highly unstable) and treatment priority (1 – no treatment to 4 – urgent treatment).

This means in the next phase of the project I can prioritize objects for conservation and identify those objects requiring specialist conservation. All organic materials are put through the freezer to prevent pests such as moth being introduced into the new store.

After the assessment (and if required, freezing) has been completed the objects are given a preliminary clean and then taken into the new store. At this point Willow, our documentation and collections assistant, will find them a new home, grouping them into categories.

Drawer of foodstuffs

In this drawer foodstuffs are grouped together

Drawer of first aid kits

SPRI has a large collection of first aid kits tailored for personal use, a surprising number of which are in tobacco tins

Of course this also means that our old store is getting emptier and emptier!

The old store

Empty shelves in the old store

Once the old store is empty, we plan to refurbish it as a large object store for items such as sledges and kayaks.

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