In an excerpt from her blog post, Ruth Burwood, Museum Development Project Officer for Collections for SHARE Museums East, reflects on the highs and lows of collections review and rationalisation, and shares some top tips.
I once had a dream that I was in a museum store auditing a box of men’s collars. The brown acid-free box that I opened contained more boxes. Some were smaller, older, brown boxes, with scratchy biro writing on. Others were presumably the original round boxes that some of the collars had once been stored in by their owner. There were also loose collars stacked inside one another, still starched and stiff; some with accession numbers on. As I started to work my way through the box I read the accession numbers aloud. “1922.214.171.124”…worried I had mis-read the number, I tried again, ”No wait, 3.3.1”…”No, 126.96.36.199”…”No, hang on, 188.8.131.52.1…”. I woke in a troubled state, soon made worse by the realisation that the box of collars did not just exist in my dreams, but was an actual nightmare waiting for me at work to resolve.