When a project is delivered to the Museum, we process the collection. The majority of the artifacts are things like bags of sherds, lithics and soil samples, those end up in our “research collection” which are inventoried, entered in our database then stored in boxes awaiting that special archaeologist who needs the samples for future research.
Artifacts that are particularly interesting either because of what they are or where they were found end up in our cataloged collection where they receive additional levels of documentation.
After identifying the object for cataloging, the first step is to assign the artifact a unique number.
|Applying a topcoat to the label|
After the label dries the process to document the artifact begins. The first step is measuring. This helps to reduce future handling of the artifact, allowing staff and researchers to refer to the measurements for determining storage needs or space requirements in future exhibits.
|Measuring the figurine with calipers|
|Screen shot of a catalog card|
|Pueblo Grande photo lab|
Once cataloging is complete we find a storage location for the artifact. This figurine is small enough to go in one of our cabinets located in our collections storage vault. This room is environmentally controlled with a constant temperature of 65 degrees and 35% humidity. The stable environment helps to reduce stress to the object, further aiding in its preservation. The figurine will remain in the cabinet awaiting a researcher or the chance to be displayed in an exhibit.
|Figurine (lower right) in storage|
Posted By Lindsey Vogel, Collections Aide