Portrait of Nathanael


"Currently I'm working on a gallery, just like you've probably been doing"

Nathanael is 14 years old and has been doing a two-week work placement at the museum.

I'm doing lots of things here: photography, condition reports, researching info, database reading, object handling and much more. I like being here since the work is varied and interesting. Currently I'm working on a gallery, just like you've probably been doing.

For each object to go in the gallery, I'm doing the following things:


First you need to get the object into the collection, or 'accession' it. It can come in through gifts or via a purchase off one of the many auction houses that sell old items. It is assigned an accession number and a storeroom place in the database. A folder is opened for that object and everything to do with that object goes in that folder. (The objects for my gallery are already accessioned, so I'm not actually doing this part.)


Taking a photoI take a photo using a film camera and studio lighting. Then I fill in the photo register with the name of the object so that when the film is processed anyone can identify the different objects. The negatives are kept too in case of more prints being needed.

Condition report

Writing a condition reportThirdly I fill in a condition report. Basically this shows how good a condition the item is in, and lets us monitor any changes. A condition report must be completed when the object is accessioned, when it goes on display, or when it is loaned to another museum. Photographs and drawings are created to highlight areas of interest. These are placed in the folder.

Label creation

Researching labelsNow I have to research the label. Using different sources of information - such as the object history file, media, books and the Internet - I find out important information about the object. Then I compile this information into a label and get it checked by colleagues. When the label has been checked once, it is re-done using suggestions and sent off to the museum curator. Once the curator says it's good then it can be used in the gallery. At the end I'll print the labels off and mount them on sticky back card.

Arranging the objects in the case

Arranging a caseWhen everything's ready, I'll decide how I want the gallery case to look. First I'll remove the current objects from the areas I want to use and then I'll move the new objects around, looking at it until I'm happy. Then I'll prop up the labels next to the objects, close up the case and breathe a sigh of relief!

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