Collections Management

During the first part of Meng’s internship, she worked in the Collection Management Department. There are only four staff members in the collection management department so Meng had close contact with her colleagues.  In order to become more familiar with everyday activities, she was responsible for helping with the museums daily opening and closing check work. This daily collection check work provided one hour of one to one communication between Meng and her colleagues which allowed them to quickly build a working relationship, even a personal relationship. The job also required multiple departments to work together, such as the exhibition design department, the security department, and the collection management department. Meng and her colleagues were in charge of checking the number and condition of collections in each exhibition hall.  Although this was not one of her favorite parts of the internship, she learned that it is necessary to know the basic skills as well as working with special pieces. Meng also had the amazing opportunity to handle an ancient object as part of this internship.

Meng also helped in the maintenance, restoration and preservation of an ancient canoe, found only weeks before her internship. This canoe is over 3,000 years old and was crafted in the early Shang Dynasty. A more detailed description of the canoe and work done on it can be found in the post 3,000 Years Old. Finally, Meng was assigned to input the data for the China Ministry of Culture and the first national movable cultural relic census. Meng was introduced to a database system that held the data and thought it was easily manageable. A list of object’s information was necessary such as the length, width, height, time, media, condition, weight, etc. However, only about 1,000 pieces had been previously measured and recorded so Meng had to wait until that information was complete before continuing with the project. Although Meng found the input job a bit boring, she recognized the advantages it serves and how it will be beneficial to future employees. Therefore, she was glad to partake in such a project.

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