Since the completion of our rebuild in 2007, work at Bexhill Museum has comprised a blur of exhibitions, shifting stuff, meetings and putting on events. What a joy it is to get stuck into some proper behind-the-scenes collections work! Our curator Julian Porter, Rachel Heminway Hurst – the Uncovering Ethnography Project Manager, Len Pole – museum curator and Ethnography Specialist, our work experience student Melita and myself have been ferretting through our two stores finding all sorts of beautiful and interesting objects and improving our identification, knowledge and manual/digital documentation of our ethnography collections. – These haven’t been reviewed for a century! This is what I call ‘the cherry on the cake of museum work’. Currently we’re concentrating on objects from Africa and Australia, but will move to other continents from September. We’re examining, assessing condition and identifying/re-identifying each object, repackaging it correctly, updating our accession records and creating a digital database of images and information which will eventually be transferred onto our MODES system. Objects have included beadwork, basketwork, woven or felted cloths and figurines. The work is careful, intense, focused, detailed and immensely enjoyable for those of us lucky enough to be part of this. When we’ve completed this project stage, we will be putting an exhibition together to be opened in 2015. Can’t wait to see what the other museums involved in this project have been doing!
Yvonne Cleland, Collections Assistant Volunteer, Bexhill Museum