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Curators Blog: We Get By With A Little Help From Our Volunteers

Just some of the photos from the Easter project.

21 July 2017

When you visit the Museum do you ever wonder what is beneath your feet? Under the Rolfe Street Baths are the museums object stores where we keep a research collection of important things related to Black Country History. But with tens of thousands of objects, we often need some help to look after them all.

Every year the Collections Team run two short volunteer projects over the school holidays. During these projects we try to tackle a project which is just too big for one of our curators on their own. Our most recent volunteer project was held over Easter. Over eight days, four lovely and hardworking people joined us to begin a digitisation project of over 8000 photographs.

But why do we want to digitise the photographs in our collection in the first place? Well, although the images are stored safely in our temperature controlled stores using archival standard materials, there is only one copy of all of them. If something were to happen, this valuable resource would be lost. Creating a high resolution digital copy of the photographs using a computer and scanner allows us to have another copy. Once we have this digital copy there are then many things we can do with it to make it more accessible to all of you. It also makes it much easier to search for a particular photograph that we may need for a project or a public enquiry.

Our Easter group of four did a great job and managed to digitise and update records for nearly 200 photographs. They also discovered some brilliant gems in the collection, some of which you can see above. A big thank you to this wonderful group – you know who you are!

Fancy a visit to the BCLM museum stores? We will be opening them up in September for Heritage Open Days. Look for more information on our Event pages.

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