Figuring out suitable storage for historical artifacts in a collection is a daily challenge for archivists in the Rubenstein Library’s Technical Services Dept. Our goal is to provide easy access to the artifacts while protecting them in a safe and secure manner. Many times we can manage this with the standard boxes and padding materials we have on hand. However, there are times when the artifacts, because of their unusual shape or fragile condition, don’t quite fit the standard. This is when we call on our friends in the Conservation Services Department to find the best storage solution.

Such was the case with three artifacts in the Doris Duke Memorabilia Collection. A baseball bat with Doris Duke’ name carved through it, a football to Miss Duke from the coaches and players of the Midgets football team that she sponsored, and a partial weathervane believed to be from Duke Farms were prime candidates for Conservation’s resourceful storage solutions. I didn’t know what to expect, but when the newly boxed artifacts safely arrived back to Technical Services for labeling and barcoding, I was truly impressed at the results.

Is this weathervane from the Coach Barn at Duke Farms the same as the one in the Memorabilia collection? It’s up to researchers to find out!

Because of Conservation’s thoughtful and inventive solutions, these three artifacts are now available to researchers. To view the final results and to read how Conservation created these boxes, see the Preservation Underground blog.

All ready for research use!

Post contributed by Mary Samouelian, Doris Duke Collections Archivist.




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One Response to Boxy Lady

  1. [...] Sometimes you just never know what will come through the lab for boxing. These items from the Doris Duke Archives were recently sent to us for custom enclosures. Boxing a Louisville Slugger baseball bat, a football, and weathervane can present obvious challenges due to their unusual shapes and dimensions.  To read more about the provenance of these materials, please see the Rubenstein Library’s blog post. [...]

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