Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Expedition to the Stores!

Our fabulous team of primary school education guides meet every month for training opportunities and to develop their knowledge and understanding of the Pitt Rivers Collection.  Recently they were given the chance to go behind the scenes at the largest Pitt Rivers Store where a dedicated team are moving over 100, 000 objects to a new home.

Four ladies stand in a portacabin
Education Guides wait for a glimpse of the Stores! © Pitt Rivers Museum

In order to move location all the objects have to be carefully packed.  This has entailed making a great deal of boxes, photographing every object and labelling everything very carefully indeed.  To find out more about the project follow twitter @Pitt_Stores.


Project assistant points to lots of boxes
Packing boxes! © Pitt Rivers Museum

There are a team of about 15 Project Assistants helping to deliver this project and amongst this group there are designated conservators.  They help to assess the condition of objects and carry out essential conservation work on the artefacts.  The hoover comes out quite a lot when large dusty objects emerge from the collections!


Group of people looks at a loom lying on a table
Conserving a backstop loom © Pitt Rivers Museum

We were also shown some of the hazards of working with objects and the precautions that are taken when working with weapons and potentially poisonous arrowheads.


A group of people look over some weapons
Examining weapons © Pitt Rivers Museum

Lady shows a dagger lined with shark teeth
Weapons lined with sharks teeth © Pitt Rivers Museum

During the visit we were separated into smaller groups and rotated around different stations.  This enabled us to find out more about specific aspects of the project in depth.  For example, we discovered how an object which had been recorded on the original database as one item actually contained multiple parts as it was a lacquered cabinet with lots of tiny boxes inside.  It was a truly fascinating trip and thanks go to Andrew Hughes, Marina De Alarcon and Madeleine Ding for enabling it to happen.


Group of 4 people walk round end of aisle surrounded by stacked boxes and objects
Education Guides scuttling round corners
© Pitt Rivers Museum

Becca McVean
Education Officer (Primary)

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