One of the most exciting aspects of my Goldstein assistantship is working with the museum's 4,500-piece textile collection. Still, it is not always easy. The collection has outgrown its storage space.
The Goldstein was recently awarded an NEH Preservation Assistance Grant for Small Institutions, designated for the implementation of a new textile storage system. The grant paid for new shelves, archival storage boxes, tissue paper, and additional storage supplies. These materials will help transform a cluttered cabinet like this...
... into a well-organized cabinet like this.
Ann (left) and Marj (right) - volunteers extraordinare - are responsible for the great success of this project. After a cabinet has been cleared and the textiles re-sorted, Marj and Ann take detailed notes regarding each object. They take measurements and photographs, record weave structures, and identify finishing techniques. Their next step is to carefully fold each object, padding these folds with tissue paper to avoid creases. Some textiles can be stored rolled on tubes. Folded or rolled, the last step of the process involves placing the objects in new acid-free storage boxes. The boxes are each labeled with photos of the textiles housed within.
My job is to enter the data Marj and Anne collect into our digital database. Thanks to them, we have been able to fill in a great deal of missing information about our textiles. This information will be shared with patrons via our online collections website, furthering our goal to make the Goldstein's wonderful collections accessible to a world-wide audience.
Natasha Thoreson, Collections Assistant