The Sooke Region Museum is home to nearly 20,000 artifact and archival objects.
For the past four years our employees have been inventorying our collections to ensure that we have the most up-to-date records possible. Recently, we began reorganizing our primary storage space that houses a large majority of our artifacts.
This organizational project is an extension of a massive inventory that began in September 2012. Over the past four years we have worked tirelessly to update artifact descriptions, condition reports, pictures and locations.
Now that our records are nearly complete, we are reorganizing our primary storage space to make it even more unified and make room for incoming donations.
Throughout the month of May this space received a makeover. We installed new shelving and have begun to implement a new organizational system. One of the tasks we will be performing is moving similar items together. For example, our typewriters are currently scattered on several different shelves around the room but we will move them all together onto one shelf. We will also be moving small items, such as fossils and household spices, into bins for security.
One of our top room-saving solutions is to hang objects on the walls. For instance, we have several large wooden and metal signs that will be hung on the walls. This will free up a lot of space on shelves.
One of our biggest challenges in this project is safely and securely storing our furniture artifacts in an organized manner. We have numerous oversized objects stored in our main storage area that include pianos, looms, sewing tables, engines, tables and chairs.
This summer we will have five employees working on organizing the new shelving units and inputting the data into our museum software, Past Perfect 5. Two of these employees are funded by a 12-week grant from Young Canada Works. The data entry includes updating object locations, pictures and condition reports.
Brianna Shambrook is collections and exhibits manager for Sooke Region Museum.