By Kathrine Miller
This is a continued posting of my blog discussing on working among the collections at the Mahaffie StageCoach and Farmstead. I thought it would be a great topic to breakup into a couple postings due the amount information and photos that I am relaying on this particular topic. Please be sure to see my first posting on this topic to follow my journey.
My last post left off where I was elated of finding an organization that would take the time to make sure my internship had a well-balanced learning experience. This included finding out that I would have an opportunity to work among their most cherished items besides the actual site itself. I know this is a rare educational experience that I am gaining and I will be grateful for every minute of it.
As stated before, the project I am handling is a small artifact collection that has been sitting on site but has not been cleaned, catalogued properly, nor stored in the appropriate preservation containers. For the last two weeks, this has been my duty on Saturdays and at I was elated then I started to look at all the work needed to be completed-Got to work very quickly!!
Each step became regimented, precise and I began to find my pace within the pile of collections. Katie, my immediate supervisor would check on me from time to time as I worked through the assembly line of washing the artifacts in buckets of warm water to sift to dirt and grime as best as possible to the final stage of a drying table. The next step would be to catalogue the artifact on a hard copy of a “Catalog Form”. This form consisted of detailing information such as an object ID, object name, home location, where found, description / condition of item and taking and its height/width/length.
I had to tag the object ID of each artifact and also photograph each piece for a computer backup. Within the group of collections, I have completed the process for all the glass artifacts and I will now begin to start the cataloguing of the more difficult pieces next. I figure this will take me another couple Saturday sessions to complete this project but I have gained a solid block of knowledge within the collection room.