For the past year, we have been creating a new home for some of our museum collections.
When we vacated our old offices in the summer of 2018, we knocked down the dividing wall to create a bigger space that could be used as a museum store. The room was stripped out and painted and vinyl flooring replaced the old carpet. Heavy-duty racking was bought and fitted into the store to provide appropriate shelving for boxes and objects. We also fitted pegboard to the walls, which could be used to hang objects, and rails for hanging uniform were installed. This store was now ready for our collections of uniform, textiles, documents, photographs and books.
Early in January 2020, with the help of Community Payback, we moved over 100 boxes, containing over 1100 objects into the new store. Boxes, packed with archival-grade materials and labelled, were stacked neatly on the shelves. Our collection of police truncheons was hung on the pegboard. Police jackets were hung, in specially-made Tyvek covers, on the hanging rails.
All objects then had their locations (including the rack, bay, shelf and box number) recorded on our collections management database, so that we can find any object in our collection within minutes.
The new store provides a stable environment for our collections, with ideal levels of temperature (between 15°c and 18°c) and relative humidity (between 45% and 60%). The vinyl flooring is easily cleaned and helps us to spot and remove any insect pests. The store is secure, clean and ordered and means that we can care for our collections to a high standard.
But the work isn’t done. We still have over 8000 objects to move from our current store. All the objects need to be cleaned, photographed, documented and repacked, before being moved. That’s a big job for our curatorial team but a vitally important one.