This week has been a change of pace. Most of the things I talk about here deal with me actually handling acquisitions (finally I have the correct term for what our items are called), but this week has had me more involved in the office setting of the collection.
Paperwork and data entry aren’t fun, but are necessary to keeping the collection organized and going. This week I spent a fair amount of time compiling contact info for a mailing list – you’d be surprised at the number of people on the list so far. There’s also a large amount of planning that occurs on a day-to-day basis at the collection. Because the number of donations we receive has grown over the years, we’re starting to have some issues with space. While inevitable, it means that our tasks need to be done in thought-out orders. For example, we may want to put away some donations, but need to find space for them first. In order to do that, we may have to do something else first to free up space, or try our hand at some shuffling. The hope is that at some point this won’t have to happen as often because we’ll have our organization down pat.
I don’t mean to say that I didn’t do any handling of garments and such this week, though. One of the days this week, a Design & Merchandising class came in to look at shoes. Virginia and I got a list and went through the aisles to find what we were looking for. I had seen a couple pairs of the shoes included, but there were a good number that I hadn’t seen yet. (Check out the little embroidered Chinese shoe – yes, that is meant for a bound foot. It was pretty weird to see up close and personal!)
We also started going through some of the boxes of acquisitions that are up for conservation to see if there were any deaccession candidates. We found a few odd pieces that didn’t seem to have a good chance at being restored, but also found a number of things that were most definitely worth keeping and repairing. The rust and black sequined coat/robe is one of my favorite garments in the collection that I’ve seen. It has a certain mix of opulence and edginess that I find myself attracted to.