This week Amanda and I played Santa for a number of museums in our Community Museums Program (CMP) when we handed out free cabinets from the South Australian Museum (and mince pies!)
Earlier in the year we were pleased to be able to offer a number of free shallow-drawer wooden storage cabinets to members of the program. Originally used for storing entomological specimens (ie bugs) in the South Australian Museum (SAM), they had become surplus to requirement following SAM’s purchase of a new storage system. The cabinets were around 100 years old and beautifully made of huon pine with brass handles. After being thoroughly fumigated by Artlab, they were finally available for pick up from the museum’s storage facility in Hindmarsh.
Over a metre and a half high and containing two columns of 25 shallow glass covered drawers each, we reckoned they could be useful for storing photographs, archives, textiles and other flat objects, or small items such as medals or badges. Eight community museums certainly thought so too. The Army Museum, Charles Sturt Memorial Museum, Hahndorf Academy, Willunga National Trust Museum, Gawler National Trust Museum, Tramway Museum, Polish Hill River Church Museum and Ayers House Museum all took up the offer and we look forward to learning how they have used them within their museums. The drawers of course need to be lined with a suitable archival material like acid free tissue or Tyvek before using it to store precious artefacts.
So despite the heat wave that hit Adelaide this week, we were pleased to be able to help volunteers load their new found freebies on to the various utes and trailers that turned up on Wednesday. It was a great way to end the year and to catch up with folk within our network.
Thank you especially to South Australian Museum’s Luke Chenoweth for arranging this great opportunity as well as the back-breaking work of transporting both the cabinet frameworks and the hundreds of drawers up and down in the lift.