A Visit from Coast Guard Students

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Sailor’s Valentine from Barbados, ca 1875.

On the 28th we had a another visit from the students of the United States Coast Guard’s International Maritime Officer School.  They visit us about twice a year and every time it is a different group of students from different countries.  This time we had students representing 27 different countries and we had artifacts from all but 5, which is not too bad.  Most of the artifacts are prints, but we try to pull out 3D objects wherever possible.  And a big thank you to our photographer Crystal for sharing her photos!

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Button, Button, Who’s got the Button….die?

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Apparently we do!  A great many of them!  It is more frequent than we might like where we run into a collection of materials that we have little to no information about and that was not cataloged fully when it arrived.  Such is the case with these 326 button dies.

And what I mean when I say cataloged is that the collection has been gone through thoroughly, with pictures of each individual die as well as a condition report.  Research should be done on any markings or known makers, etc.  When it was realized that this had not been done, we went ahead and pulled them and now have a wonderful volunteer undertaking the task for us.

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A View Outside The Hold Of Our Ship…..Actually, Outside Our Collections Office

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A beautiful Autumn afternoon view outside our Collections Offices.
A beautiful Autumn afternoon view outside our Collections Office.

Being a Collections staffer means you spend a large part of your day indoors and inside windowless rooms.  Just as the wrong kind of light can damage artifacts in the galleries, it can also affect items as we are working with them in our offices and prep areas.   So any objects being cataloged, researched, cleaned, moved, numbered, etc.,  have to be protected from damaging light, no matter where they are in the museum.

All our storage areas and workrooms stay dark unless we need to access them.  And of course, no windows.  Research has shown that even limited amounts of light can have a cumulative effect on some types of artifacts.  So we store those objects in cabinets and boxes to help minimize exposure.  All the light tubes and bulbs are also covered with UV filters.

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A Thank You to the Bronze Door Society

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On October 28th was the Bronze Door Society annual dinner where museum employees present projects and BDS votes to see who they will fund.  This year we had six excellent project proposals, from purchasing new objects, conserving artifacts already in the collection, and photography equipment.  This was my first year presenting and I was asking for money to conserve my favorite painting, Kaiser Wilhelm II Among the Pyramids.  I won’t go into the history of the ship or painting as you can read about that HERE.

I am thrilled to say that I am one of the three winners of that night and that this amazing painting will finally receive the conservation it deserves!  The piece has been in terrible condition as long as it’s been here and because of this we have been unable to display it.  A big THANK YOU to the Bronze Door Society for their annual dinner and for providing money for projects like mine!  You guys rock!

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Happy Veteran’s Day!

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Thank you to all those that have served and are currently serving in our military!  We appreciate all you do for us!  And to say thank you, the museum is offering free admission to those in/retired from the military and family members.  Check the deal out HERE.