Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Why My New Job Scares Me
What the hell have I gotten myself into?
The collection was started in 1952 (the year of my birth--I hope I'm not in this big of a mess). The focus of the collection apparently was "everything we can get our hands on" and that has remained the focus for almost 60 years. I don't know if there has ever been a person whose primary assignment was to curate the collection (I know there hasn't been for at least 10 years).
In the bottom picture (the "office" area) every drawer and cabinet is crammed with stuff. There is also stuff on shelves behind the curtains on the right (much of which I can't get to unless I move the desk). Clothes, jewelry, and textiles are just lying around.
A rough estimate is that there are about 3000 garments, plus several hundred pairs of shoes and hats, a large number of quilts, a thousand textile samples, and who knows how much oddments (jewelry, vintage textile equipment, old tools, crochet hooks). Tons of old pictures, magazines, and sewing patterns. Newspaper clippings. Boxes of stuff labeled "from anthropology department."
Each piece was suposed to have its own inventory form--and I keep finding those here and there, scattered around. Many of the pieces are unlabeled and unidentified.
This is going to be interesting. Isn't there a Chinese curse that goes "may you live in interesting times"?