An update from Jane

Life here has been pretty routine recently, catching up on environmental records and reports, only for the next bank holiday to get in the way again. Likewise with filling humidifiers – we put these in some areas as a back-up, for example in the Temporary Galleries when we have an exhibition with tight environmental specifications, such as Secret Egypt. If all goes to plan they shouldn’t be necessary, but in order for them to work as a back-up should there be an issue, they have to be set at a level where they work some of the time. Even more unfortunately, we have a very high silica level in the water around here which means if we want the wicks to be effective, water needs to be filtered; and we don’t use enough to justify a proper system. As a child I loved pouring water – it’s kind of losing its appeal…. (we do have filters added to the main Air Handling Unit feeds).

We’ve had a little more work on the roof, again in fine weather, so the three rolls of polythene we stocked up on in case we needed a belt and braces measure now has to be found a home. We get through a certain amount for wrapping works of art on he move, so it won’t go to waste. 

I’ve been costing up for a large (but only potential) order for photography. I’m not expert – I could be some kind of default get very good results using film and the more than basic set-up I had at the time, but this doesn’t seem to translate to digital. However, I only do the equivalent of photocopies for documents which won’t take that treatment, so they don’t need to be perfect. This order is all form one large collection, mostly from the letters. The range of condition is quite amazing – from practically pristine to so friable they have to be turned with carrier sheets. Someone earlier last century went through them, making folds with a précis on the front. One was evidently so vestigial the original was destroyed at that point. A number of years ago I started repacking the letters series with a volunteer. It’s interesting to come back to it as a user and assess how the strategy works in practice. The difficulty was that individual packing takes more space, and the boxing didn’t allow for this.

It sounds like the leaving do for several long-standing colleagues has begun in the room next door, so I’d better go and investigate the cakes….

Jane

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Posted on 23/05/2011, in Conservation and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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