The Old Sydney Society houses artifacts and photographs related to Sydney in our on-site collections rooms. Our permanent collection has been moved to our new location, and we used the opportunity to improve storage practices and organize the artifacts differently. Instead of one large room, we now have three smaller rooms, with shelving and rack systems built by our own Jim Bowler.
The Bank of Montreal kindly left us all the shelving in their document-storage room, and this room will now house most of our collection. HelenAnn Burrows, who has been acting as collections technician, laid down cotton felt, as suggested by Nova Scotia Museum Curators best practices, and were able to arrange all the artifacts to provide cushioning and air flow. The clothing is in a separate room, some hung in cotton garment bags and most stored in archival boxes.Shoes and hats are stuffed with archival tissue and stored in boxes.
Each item in the collection is tagged, and those tags are cross-referenced with paper files containing all the relevant information (where it came from and who it may have belonged to, etc.),The numbers are also uploaded to a Nova Scotia Museum database that includes information about all the items in all the collection of NSM sites across the province. The database is cross-references to show where it is physically located in the collections room.
During our move, we have been updating those files, and we have been adding an additional feature. Thanks to volunteer Jean MacAulay, who has been patiently photographing each individual artifact, we are able to upload a picture of each item to the database. This saves a lot of work in describing the pieces, and helps us differentiate between similar-sounding items.
It also means that people in museums in NS can see what each other has, and allows us to have conversations about sharing or borrowing artifacts.