Dealing with working “artifacts”

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      Paul Shea
      Member

      I work at an interesting institution. It is a LARGE historic building that is currently occupied by a large professional society. The majority of the building has been restored to its ‘glory’ days from the early 1800s and much of the original furniture is still in the rooms and used by the members during meetings, conferences and even on a day to day basis. We, as curatorial staf members, have little control over the use of these artifacts, save for rescuing them when they break or stop being of use. My first question has to do with accessioning. How do institutions in the same position as us, keep track of these working artifacts? do you give each an accession number? is that number the same as artficats within your storage? would another numbering system be more appropriate?

      In the past we have created simple inventories of artifacts within the rooms, ie: 3 chairs and 1 table, but we’d like to have a more concrete system in place, any ideas?

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