From the 1st to the 17th century and back againAugust 17, 2012 About my museum job, Blogs, Collections online
A year on from beginning life as a Project Assistant for Collections Online, Verity Anthony shares the range of work that she has been involved with over the last 12 months.
When I started at the Museum my primary responsibilities were the digitisation of the Museum’s Roman samian ware and its collection of 17th century trade tokens. This hasn’t stopped me dabbling my toes in to other archaeological collections though…
After a stint working with the trade tokens, I then had the opportunity to help supervise the photography of some of the Museum’s medieval pilgrim souvenirs.
Pilgrim badges were purchased by pilgrims as souvenirs of shrines they had visited. The Museum holds a collection of over 850 pilgrim souvenirs, which are currently being prepared for publication on Collections Online by curator Meriel Jeater.
In supervising the photography of this collection, I was able to handle and study a wide assortment of badges of differing size and levels of preservation, which represented a range of saints and their shrines.
Most recently the scope of my work has involved working with gallery objects – specifically those displayed in the Museum’s War, Plague and Fire gallery.
As part of Collections Online the objects had to be removed from display so that they could be photographed, and measured where necessary, for the project. As the Museum opens to the public at 10am, this meant we had to be on the galleries early to cause as little disruption as possible. The variety of material on display is huge, from pill-slabs to pussy cats, so every case presented different challenges in removing and reinstalling the material.
The aim was to get the objects from the cases photographed and replaced as quickly as possible (usually the next day), and with a huge effort from curators, project staff, photographers, technicians and one handily tall colleague, the collection was all back in place on the galleries a day early. Just a brief insight into the daily challenges of digitising 90,000 of our objects for Collections Online!