Conducting inventory is an important collections management exercise for museums striving to meet the collections stewardship standards set forth by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). It is an essential component of documenting the current condition and location of each object, especially since our collections are regularly used for researchers, Hands on Tours, exhibitions, and loans. Inventory is also the perfect time for me, a relative Rosenbach newbie, and interns Emily and Allison to learn about the important books in our collections.
|Judy Guston and Allison Darhun examine Judaica|
|Shrek on a cart|
|Patrick Rodgers (the headless curator) demonstrates the use of a grip-tite|
Divided into teams of two, we were sent to different areas of the library to begin the shelf reading. One person reads from the card catalog and the other carefully removes the book from the shelf (never grabbing or pulling on the top of the spine) and confirms that the book has the matching call number and an ID strip in the proper location. Condition problems are noted, and the book edges are dusted when necessary. Kathy and Patrick completed their section of 17th Century British Literature, (EL1), with ease and made headway with EL2. Emily and I started with Fine Press, while Allison and Judy worked with Incunables and Judaica. We have only covered a fraction of the collection (Elizabeth is still crunching the numbers but I am sure she will have an exact percentage soon), but I am looking forward to this regular Monday project.
|Emily Pazar reshelves a book in Fine Press|
Jobi Zink has been the registrar at the Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia since July 2014. Previously she spent 15 years as the registrar of the Jewish Museum of Maryland.