Conservators at Home

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This Monday marks eight weeks since the museum staff started working from home. For the Conservation Department it’s been an interesting transition. The majority of our daily life is spent treating objects, constructing object housing, and running analytical equipment. None of which we can do from home. In fact, professional museum bodies frown on conservators taking their work (aka the objects) home with them. Fair enough, but it does beg the question: what have you all been doing?

I’m so glad you asked. Paperwork. Lots and lots of paperwork. We’re finishing reports, catching up on research, and organizing object files. Also watching webinars, completing training, and planning for the future. It has been nice to have time to devote to the things that are usually relegated to the back burner.   Read more

Help Identify a Mystery Artifact

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Over the past 13 years, NOAA archaeologists and Mariners’ Museum conservators have discovered hundreds of amazing artifacts within USS Monitor‘s revolving gun turret. Some artifacts, like the Dahlgren guns, gun carriages, and gun tools, are undergoing conservation as I type this blog entry. Others have already been fully conserved and are now on display within the USS Monitor Center at The Mariners’ Museum or have been loaned to other institutions around the country to help share Monitor‘s fascinating stories.

However, there are handful of artifacts that continue to mystify us in the lab, particularly those that have been fully conserved but not properly identified. It may sound strange or surprising that in the last 13 years we have not successfully identified every single artifact from the turret. But this is often the case when many materials are excavated from an archaeological setting.   Read more

The Ronson Ship

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This is a baby shoe found in the Ronson collection. There was a plethora of shoe leather found in the hull of the Ronson. The larger shoe is in the picture for size comparison. The larger shoe is probably an adult male shoe.
This is a baby shoe found in the Ronson collection. There was a plethora of shoe leather found in the hull of the Ronson. The larger shoe is in the picture for size comparison. The larger shoe is probably an adult male shoe.

Welcome to the Ronson ship!

I am an intern in the Collections Management department and I have been tasked with re-cataloging and re-housing all of the artifacts that pertain to the Ronson ship. The bags and boxes that the Ronson ship artifacts were placed in when they came to The Mariner’s Museum in 1985 are falling a part which means the items are not properly stored. So I am going through each and every box (there are 78 boxes, that I am aware of) and putting all the items back into new bags. When the Ronson ship came The Mariner’s Museum a cataloging system was not put in places nor was a detailed inventory sheet made. So I am re-numbering each item and creating a new inventory sheet of each box.   Read more