Today has been another day taking a closer look into the life of a museum as I progressed further into collection work this morning. Despite being in quite a cold storage room I was working with history and was simultaneously surrounded by it. In helping with the collection review; which the museum is currently undertaking, I was able to be in an environment of cataloguing and decision making – which I already knew a little bit about.
Firstly I was looking at singular pieces in the museum’s collection; describing them and deciding on their significance, engagement potential and condition, on a varying scale which clearly is quite an important role to consider what could be relevant to Sharpe’s and what will be interesting for the public – something that is possibly absent in the typical beliefs of the jobs in a museum. For me the highlight of this experience was discovering; as described by one of the lovely trustees, a rare hidden gem amongst the collection: a plabread plate, amazing in its own right, with detailed cobalt blue carvings and designs. In addition, carved into the base of the plate was handwriting signalling the end of World War One “Armistice Day 11th November 1918 E.Jones” which is even more important considering the centenary of the Armistice at the end of this year and the intimacy of having a someone handwrite the date into a pot for the occasion.
Secondly, I have been expanding my work for event preparation – planning as far ahead as Christmas – by projecting ideas for crafts for the children. I also came up with all materials necessary for the craft, as well as organising the advertisements for such events and what is going on in the museum through the summer.
This placement, even half way through the week, has given me the chance to gain a foundation for skills in museum work and working with collections of art.