Please note: due to the recent Covid-19 outbreak the Centre is currently closed, but our website is still open for business.

Lockdown Work

15/05/202011:53 amLeave a Comment

Hi, it’s Claire the Collections Officer here. Do you ever wonder what work could a Museums Collections Officer possibly be doing during lockdown, seeing as all museums are shut? Well, I thought I’d write a wee blog; something I should do more often but shy away from if the truth be told, to show you just some of the things that I have been up to.

So I have been reading about contemporary collecting and how museums all over the globe are collecting items that document the impact of Covid-19 on our lives – more on this in a separate blog to follow another day. But I also have to check on the objects that are on display in our closed museums. This is classed as essential heritage conservation work and is thus allowed. Checking objects involves ensuring light and humidity levels are safe for the objects and won’t damage them, and also that there are no pests present. When we are open, these things are monitored daily but obviously when closed, this isn’t happening. We have a mid-19th century banner on display at the JGC that could be at risk from clothes moth attack, so with a socially-distanced colleague we removed it from display and then I examined it carefully with a magnifying glass.

Looking for moth larvae

Thankfully there was no evidence of moths! I was specifically looking for moth larval cases, tiny white things that are the cocoons for the larvae to pupate in before emerging as adult moths and larvae themselves. They like to hide in the dark folds of material and munch away, leaving a tell-tale trail of frass (pooh!).

Although the banner appears to be safe, to be doubly sure I covered it and rolled it around a large tube, within which I placed a couple of moth traps. The whole thing then fitted nicely instead a gusseted garment bag made of Tyvek – fabric that is totally impregnable and untearable. I then hung it between two supports to prevent any stress on the fabric; which would occur should I lie it down. It will be stored there until we can open the museum again.

Any views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent those of ELCMS or ELC.

Written by ClaireP - Modified by KateM

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