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Big artifacts, big moves

Hello from Conservation!

Over the past few weeks we, in the Conservation Department, got really good at walking artifacts, much like pet parents walk their furry friends. Or, at least that’s what it felt like.

Laurie and Tina walk with an artifact to ensure its safety during transport.

What would possess us to “walk” artifacts, you ask? We are in the process of moving approximately 145 objects from their current location in outdoor storage, to a happier storage environment! We, at the Museum, are re-purposing the old boat building shed to rehouse over half of the artifacts currently stored outside. We have approximately 3 more weeks (spread over an undetermined amount of time) of work with partner groups before the whole outdoor collection is rehoused – either in the boat building shed or in a condensed, reorganized area outside.

Mike driving one of the bells into the new space.
Jeanne had the brilliant idea to stand some of our fisherman’s anchors up along the wall! This way they take up inches of our floor space, instead of feet.
So far, we have filled the wooden decks and created a “U” of artifacts. Next, we will fill the center!
So far, we have filled the wooden decks and created a “U” of artifacts. Next, we will fill the center!

Many of the artifacts being moved are industrial in size, weight, use, and sturdiness making them difficult to move and impossible to store in some interior storage areas. While we aim for ideal storage for all of our artifacts, throughout the (near 100-year) history of the institution we have collected some really big objects! Those artifacts which have been stored outside were put there for their ability to weather the environment, but it was time to reassess and improve their situation.

Lesley examines the Davits for the best rigging/lifting option.
Erik, Elsa, & Hannah position a pallet under a capstan to make the move and storage easier & safer.
Laurie leads an artifact to keep it from swinging during the move.
This windlass is close to 3,000 pounds and parts of it still move. It made rigging more complicated, but man did it look good during the move!
Mike driving the oyster dredge off the concrete pad.
Will lifts chain with the forklift. (These aren’t even the biggest chain links in the outdoor collection!)

This is the result of a year and a half of survey work by some of the Conservation staff and is a joint effort between the Conservation and Collections Management departments, with the help of the Facilities and Security departments, and other staff members.

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