This post details the processes involved when an item is donated to Beamish. In this case Meg processed a Second World War ARP (Air Raid Precautions) First Aid Kit (see photo below).
- First of all every donor fills in a receipt officially giving the collection to Beamish.
- Thursday 20th November 2014 – started listing the objects within the collection. Meg decided owing to the rare nature of the almost complete ARP First Aid Kit, the collection should be recorded in detail.
- Friday 21st November 2014 – Completed listing and semi-permanently labelling each object. Depending on the object the semi-permanent labels are marked in pencil, black or white ink or sewn onto an object. Each donation is given a collection number (2014-184 in this instance). Individual items within the collection are sub-numbered (e.g. 2014-184.1) and an individual item can be separated into different parts for example .1a and .1b. This is so we can keep track of each individual object and have a good record of its appearance and size. Coincidentally item 2014-184.1BP was a bottle of Iodine B.P. ! Meg listed items from .1a to .1bx – that is a lot items in one collection!
- Monday 24th November 2014 – following listing and labelling each object is recorded on a Green Card, including a description, when and where the object was used and its estimated age.
- Wednesday 26th November 2014 – Photographed and measured all 81 items! This is so we can identify objects when searching through the online catalogue and display images of our collection online.
- Thursday 27th November 2014 – today Meg started transferring the information recorded on the Green Cards onto the collections management system (KE-Emu).
- Friday 28th November 2014 – continued to catalogue the donation onto KE-Emu.
- Monday 1st November 2014 – Completed J. Now the ARP First Aid box is part of our collection and located in our stores.
This demonstrates that it can take one person 6 days to process just one donation!
At the moment the collections team at Beamish receive on average around 5 donations of objects every day.