by Eunice Haugen
Like any small organization, one often plays many roles and job descriptions can include lots of schlepping. Museum work is no different. The other day a load of archival tubes I had ordered for a textiles storage project arrived. Great, I had been waiting for over a month for these! They came by truck in two cartons each over 10 ft long. Since there was only one driver with the truck, I assisted him in getting them off the truck and into the building. The truck driver asked me what was in the cartons, "tubes" I replied. "tubes of what?" he asked, "tubes of nothing" I replied, he laughed. Truck drivers are often amused by what people at museums order and do and ship around the country.
The next task was how to get the tubes from the 1st floor up to the 2nd? McNeal Hall is less than user friendly when it comes to moving large objects from floor to floor, which is a challenge for a museum located on the 2nd floor. Our freight elevator is smaller than some passenger elevators and within the last year they have closed off the access directly from the dock, making for approximately another 50-60 feet to access the elevator-- thank goodness for the invention of the wheel. Next, the test, would the tubes fit in the elevator? Yes, if you remove them from the carton. We were able to place four tubes at an angle and travel up one floor, remove the tubes and back down for four more. There were around 56 tubes and 14 trips up and down the elevator. Now there was a large pile of tubes on the floor outside the freight elevator. So my trusty co-worker and I schlepped the empty boxes up the stairs, reloaded the tubes and wheeled down the hall to their final resting place. All in the day of a museum worker and I do it all for art!