With a collection of 22,000 items everyday at Snowshill is full of interest and intrigue although Thursdays hold a particular interest.
Thursday’s are inventory checking day and we look forward to it every week. Inventory checking is an important part of collections management it allows the house team to check the accuracy of all our records. It also allows us to check on the condition of all our objects and ensure everything is where it is supposed to be. It even helps us pick up on those pesky spelling mistakes. As a relatively new member of staff I have found this process incredibly useful, it has really helped me to learn more about Mr Wade and the collection. We have been able to make strong connections between items in the collection, linking items together which is a really rewarding task. It can be something of a never ending task but with a collection as varied and as beautiful as Mr Wade’s it’s always fun.
We use our collections management system (CMS) to manage the process and to help us we have a great team of volunteers including Allen our CMS master and inventory checkers Robin, Rosa and Michele. We started with the display rooms in the Manor and the cottage although we still haven’t tackled Mr Wade’s workshop or living room, with a total of 2,000 items we haven’t quite been brave enough. For the display rooms the process involves taking the extensive paper lists and working though the room wall by wall, then ceiling and floor space. It is really important to follow this process as this is a great way of finding any objects that are not on the list which is ultimately the aim of this process.
After the display rooms next on the list were the store rooms, that’s right we have store rooms! In addition to all the wonderful items on display in the manor we have three store rooms unsurprisingly filled to the rafters. We started with the ironically named small store and after several months we have one box to go! It has been a real priviledge to be part of this process, we have had the opportunity to open boxes that have rarely been opened, we have discovered items that have never been on display and really discovered the talent Mr Wade had as an artist. We thought we would use our blog to share some of the beautiful items we have in our collection, look out for further posts on the treasures we have discovered in our store rooms.