What’s it like to be a Keeper?

Hello, my name is Ali Wells and I am one of three Keepers of Collections at the Herbert. Together with the Senior Curator we curate the four collections held at the museum: archaeology, natural history, social & industrial history and visual arts.

Objects are at the core of all museums, and for me May meant working with many different types of objects.

I started the month by helping Dom with the take down of Fashion V Sport. Taking things down are always a lot easier than putting them up and the costumes mostly came off their mannequins with ease. The most difficult piece was a Prada outfit made from some kind of plasticated paper. We had to handle it so carefully as there was already wear around the zip and it had only been done up five or six times!

Part of the joy of having collections is being able to lend them out to other museums. For its summer exhibition on Rock ‘n’ Roll photographs, The Pump Rooms in Leamington wanted to display some objects from the 1950s and 60s. After looking through the collection, we will be lending them some Beatles and Rolling Stone magazine and this record player.

It’s not just the curators who work on the collections! We have a great team of volunteers working on different projects. One of my volunteers, Emma, is cataloguing our photographs of Coventry and scanning them in. This is a picture of Dugdale Road, Radford.

Finally this month the team have spent a lot of time in our offsite store. There isn’t enough room for all our collection in the Herbert, so we have to make use of spaces away from the museum. We’ve been lifting and shifting and getting dirty to get the objects in the best possible places, then listing where they all are. On those days you will have seen me in my old jeans and steel toe cap boots!

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Posted on 09/06/2010, in Collections, Exhibitions and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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