One of the really neat things about having a museum as part of a university, particularly a university with a museum studies program, is that students have a chance to participate in the collections work. Every year, the museum studies program offers a class on curation and collections management. As part of that class, the students choose an object to research, catalog, and rehouse, if appropriate.
This year, the students are working on a collection of textiles. The textiles have not been researched or housed. In fact, when they were moved last year, they were in a stack in a box. That stack was transferred to the compactor storage, where it's stayed for the last year.
To prepare for class today, I took the textiles from storage and laid them out in the collections workroom. The students each choose a piece to research and rehouse.
I'm really glad the class will be working with these textiles. They need new storage - the flat storage is putting a lot of stress on the fibers, particularly on the knit pieces, which are meant to be three dimensional. I'm also glad these pieces are being examined, because I discovered that the ink used to mark the pieces is fading, in some cases quite badly.
So I'll be replacing those labels that are fading before we finish this project completely. It should be very interesting to see what sort of information the students can find on these pieces.