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Friday, October 23, 2015

The White Gloves Gang Strikes Again!

This week the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums (MAAM) hosted its annual conference here in Philadelphia. The fine museum folks who attend the conference also have an opportunity to help out local institutions through the "White Gloves Gang," organized by the Registrars Committee of MAAM. Five years ago we hosted a visit from the White Gloves Gang, who helped us refolder and organize our collection of newspapers. I posted about their visit way back then, and in revisiting the post today I realized that one of the volunteers was Jobi Zink--now our very own Rosenbach registrar!

A blast from the past: Jobi was always eager to help out the Rosenbach--even before she became a staff member!

This year we were again lucky enough to get the gang back together (so to speak). We tackled two White Gloves projects: continuing to chip away at our shelf-reading inventory (which Jobi blogged about a few months back) and starting to rehouse some of the vast Marianne Moore object collection.  Given the nature of these projects we only could use a couple of volunteers and we were thrilled to have a pair of wonderful folks.

Jessica Bellingham is attending MAAM from all the way across the country; she lives in Seattle where she used to work at the Burke Museum of Archaeology and just started a job as a registrar for Microsoft's art collection. I bet you never thought about how private companies track and manage their art--they need collections professionals too!  Here Jessica is having fun (and working hard) with Judy Guston, our Director of Collections.

 

Anastasia Matijkiw didn't have to travel nearly so far--she works at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and used to be an even closer neighbor when she worked at the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts. Here she is doing her part in the shelf-reading work.


Here are a few pictures from the afternoon's Moore collection rehousing. As you can see, our volunteers really enjoyed getting to see and learn about Miss Moore's collections, especially her menagerie of animal figurines.

The White Gloves organizers were also kind enough to organize donations of some wonderful archival trays and boxes--with dividers!!!--that will help keep the Moore objects safer while making them easier to access and use.


Here I am assembling some dividers for a box that will hold long thin objects such as pens, letter openers, etc. I should note that Jobi took all the pictures, so she is not in them, but she was the organizing force behind our White Gloves day, so kudos to her.


 As we moved objects into new homes, we were very careful to record what went where, so we can update our electronic records. Here Jessica is checking an object tag to make sure our lists are correct. All of the old location information will also be retained in the files, in case we ever need it.


It was a hard, but very productive day of work, so many thanks to our intrepid volunteers, to the MAAM folks, and to our staff that made it possible.



Kathy Haas is the Associate Curator at the Rosenbach  and the primary poster at the Rosen-blog










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