Making a Spectacle
The museum has a fantastic collection of spectacles, but for a long time they have been hidden away. Virginia is working to improve their visibility and make sure they are well cared for by re-packing and organising them.
Museums use acid free paper to protect their collections from atmospheric harm, and a cheap and easy solution that's often used is to wrap each object in these sheets. This is great, except that it makes it impossible to know where a specific object is, and it can be hard to tell what's a wrapped object and what's a piece of padding.
To get a better understanding of our collection of spectacles, and as part of the museum's efforts to improve all collections storage, Virginia is carefully going through all of the wrapped spectacles and cases, and re-packing them in individually tailored boxes. These boxes have clear lids to allow each object to be visible and safe at the same time.
Re-packing the objects is a perfect opportunity to find out more about them. As she moves each item, Virginia carefully studies them for details, checks them against the accession register, and investigates any unusual markings or features to learn more about the collections.
Once each pair of spectacles and their respective cases have been found and researched, Virginia makes them specially formed padding that keeps them secure but accessible for use in displays. Each box is added to the tray in such a way as to reduce the chance of it moving or shaking, and the objects are returned to the store ready for future use.