Aug 10

Week 10 – August 6-10

Monday, 8/6:

Back to Hazy for an early morning. Today we didn’t have a load to unpack but instead had to install cabinet shelves. Other contractors had thankfully installed the cabinets themselves in the fur and leather storage but left the shelves to us so we could ensure our suits/pants/jackets would fit. Previously at Garber we had measured the height of most of the objects that were ready to move so we had some idea of where each was going and how much space it would need.

Please keep in mind that due to fur and leather’s delicate nature, its new specially designed storage space is kept at low temperatures so you can tell which room we are in by the presence of jackets. The spacesuit storage area which is next door does not have as strict temperature controls.

Megan and I as turtles

We call this process turtling. Two people would sit/stand in the cabinet while the other 2 would lift the shelf to them. Then the turtles would hold the shelf up to its appropriate height (the brown tape is where we measured this shelf should go) and the outside people would put the clips in place in each corner.

The last shelf or 2 always had no room for turtles so we would place a shelf on the bottom of the cabinet and use this handy suction/pulley system to pull the shelf off the bottom so we could lift it into place. The shelves fit so tightly into the cabinets that it had to be angled into the cabinet and then evened out so yes this system was necessary! We put together a lot of cabinets today in anticipation of moving more objects out here soon.

Tuesday, 8/7:

Today was a very important day in the history of Garber…..it was…..the First Intern Olympics!

Had an official flyer and everything (not made by interns)

Certain contractors who shall remain nameless had been bragging about the superiority of their interns throughout the summer and had decided there was only one way to settle this argument.

After lunch it was time. The break room was set up for the event, judges, announcers, a referee, and audience were in place. Five interns (Megan, Lizzie, Patrick, Eleesha, and I) were set to compete. No one asked us if we wanted this responsibility but we were recruited anyways!

We were given a random object (objects brought from random staffers’ homes) and instructed to make mounts for it in 15 minutes and given very limited supplies to accomplish this task. Afterwards the 2 judges each awarded medals (no actual medals today) and it was back to work. The contractors all made signs and cheered their interns on and were happy with their bragging rights afterwards.

The only thing that could possibly be exciting enough to follow that event was…..

…vacuuming bug casings from a fur suit.

Wednesday, 8/8:

We went back to Hazy today to finish up installing the shelves in the cold.

This is a good before and after picture. The cabinet in the foreground is how they all look when we get started with them. They are either empty or full of shelves to be removed and then reinstalled once we have measured their spacing out. In this case the shelves weren’t even the right size! Why did those get put inside this cabinet and moved here? None of these cabinets are new and were moved here from another location. The cabinet in the background is how they look when we are done with them. Throughout this process we make sure to wipe down each shelf as we install it and then vacuum the cabinet and area around it to ensure the objects will be moving into as pristine an area as possible.

Thursday, 8/9:

Back at Garber today.

Intern Olympics had originally been planned for 2 days but the contractors decided to spare us and instead just had the awards ceremony today. No one could really decide exactly who got what since each judge had different decisions but we had fun at the “ceremony.”

Being interviewed by our announcers

Lizzie got gold, I got silver, Patrick got bronze, and they made Megan sit on the floor but gave her a medal too

The rest of the day (both morning and afternoon) was taken up with cross training, this time with Ben the photographer (also one of the announcers above).

Ben was kind enough to take all 4 of us for the day and teach us his process. He taught us about the different photo formats and best practices for museum photography. As with everything else, museums strive for archival quality so he saves an original RAW file and also a compressed JPG for uploading to TMS. Long term storage includes multiple copies on multiple hard drives and servers.

Then he went through his shooting set up and process. He concluded with how they are processed and saved using Photoshop and the steps to take for uploading the completed images to TMS. It always amazes me how technical photography can get.

Ben explaining how to set up and "read" an object

Friday, 8/10:

Back at Hazy today, no truck to meet but now that everything is cleaned out and shelves are installed, we can go back to unpacking PSCs that had been brought in a previous load. PSCs are the shipping containers for smaller objects and today we unpacked multiple ones containing shoes.

We unpack them in the room where the PSCs are stored, unwrap, account for each object, and transfer them to one of our handy rolling racks to take into the fur and leather storage. Each object had been previously assigned a cabinet and shelf location. So when unpacking they were compared to our master list and slips of paper were put on each so we knew where to take them.

Katherine and I worked as a team to transfer each box to its new location. I transported the box, removed the muslin cloth (not needed since they were being stored within closed cabinets), and held out the bar code tag for Katherine to scan. That is one of the benefits of the move to Hazy, as we move objects out here we attach new bar codes to every object so it is far easier to update their locations. While we did this, other members of the team were unpacking PSCs and then bringing the objects to us to put on their shelves and scan.

Today was also unfortunately Megan’s last day and the team took her out to lunch to celebrate.

Aug 17

Week 11 – August 13-17

Monday, 8/13:

We are losing interns left and right at this point in the summer. Only Lizzie and myself remain because Lizzie started a week late and I took a week off. Building 24 is already feeling quieter.

GMT spent part of the day loading the truck for a shipment out to Hazy. Since all the shelves are installed they are ready to receive suits/jackets/pants.

These 2 jackets can just barely fit into an air tray together but they are going to end up on a shelf together at Hazy so we are trying to keep them together now.

Now the jackets are ready to move, this is the point right before the lid is strapped on top. Muslin cloth covers both objects and straps are buckled across each object to secure it to the board. In this case the straps are diagonal because we try to avoid putting straps over the fur collars which are more fragile. A large strip of volara is put under the strap to add cushioning. Bubble wrap is added to help further keep the objects in place or to cushion arms. Bubble wrap and straps are put on over the muslin cloth because they are not clean enough to be directly touching the objects.

Tuesday, 8/14:

Since we packed at Garber yesterday, that must mean we unpacked at Hazy today!

While waking to the collections storage area, we pass through the restoration area and got to witness this engine being hoisted up to attach back onto this plane. While we witness a lot of amazing restoration work going on, this was the first time I’d seen this particular action so we stopped to watch.

At the end of the day Amelia shows off our work, a cabinet full of rehoused suits, ready to be locked up and enjoy their new and improved storage conditions!

Wednesday, 8/15:

Back at Garber to pack suits.

After all the boxes were ready we would load them onto the truck. Ashley was in charge of the fork lift today. The rest of us would arrange the boxes, mark them off, update their location, roll them onto the fork lift, and guide Ashley as she picked each one up and put it on the truck.

Thursday, 8/16:

Unloading at Hazy and transferring upstairs into the new fur and leather storage area.

Friday, 8/17:

Back at Garber to pack another load in the morning.

Me rolling an air tray out of Building 24 to position it on the awaiting fork lift.

While the majority of the suits are ready to move (or already moved) at this point, there remain about 20 more to be finished in the next week. This is one I completed in the afternoon. For interior supports I used foam rods covered in tyvek. Tyveked supports are also made for inside the arms and to support the collar.

Aug 24

Week 12 – Aug 20 and 24

Monday, 8/20:

Last week marked my last full week and the departure of Lizzie, the last other intern. I still had 2 spare days to make up so took them this week. Today was my last day out at Hazy unpacking.

A familiar jacket, Roscoe’s lion jacket finally makes the move to Hazy as Katherine and I uncover it and inspect it. It will then be transferred to a rolling rack to be taken upstairs. Then the air tray it was in will be loaded back onto the truck and taken back to Garber to use for their next round of shipments.

The lion jacket in its new home

A parting shot of the fur and leather storage area before we leave. Chances are this is my last time in here!

Friday, 8/24:

My last day on the job and I’m out at Garber today.

I continued working on the last suits including this one.

After the last suit was done, Ashley and I went into one of the storage areas to look for any last leather objects. She had located a couple of objects in TMS that listed leather as a primary material. One box we found was definitely leather and was pulled to be moved soon. The other case was listed as leather but upon inspection was clearly fake leather. Ashley later updated the TMS record accordingly. She also showed me some of the objects they were scheduled to start working on next. This included the wool collection and randomly, the above kite is scheduled to be moved in the near future. I can’t wait to hear how they transport it!

The team also took me out to lunch for burgers and milkshakes for my last day.

Looking back at the initial description I was given before starting, this internship was definitely a success and I believe I gained invaluable experience in all the promised activities and more. It was an honor to be entrusted with such precious objects.

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