This summer we have had students from the MLitt Museum Studies course working in Marischal College on two projects that will aid the collections in many ways. Here is how the projects are progressing so far:
Marloes has been involved in the Egyptology collection, working with objects collected by Joseph Pollard. The collection has been in the Marischal Collections Centre since 1906 and her project has involved matching each object with that on an existing list, describing the object and then re-packing them to ensure their security and safety in the stores.
The packing process has been interesting; Marloes has had the chance to explore and examine in detail the impressive collection, including a mummified cat head!
An aspect of the project that Marloes has found to be of interest however is the collector himself, Joseph Pollard:
‘Joseph Pollard was not a very famous man but he is known as a council member of the Council of the Society of Biblical Archaeology and was related to Sir William Robertson Nicoll, the Scottish journalist and editor. As a biblical and history enthusiast he travelled to Egypt and collected objects that are now stored in the Marischal Collections Centre.’
Marloes hopes to do some extra research on this collector as not much is known about him and we are interested to see what she finds!
Alongside this project in the Egyptology collection another student, Maaike, has been working with the Margaret Hasluck textiles during her placement. Her tasks include removing these amazing fabrics from their current display, documenting them and packing them for storage. This is being done for their own protection as they are currently at risk from other factors such as light and the possibility of pests as they have not been touched in fifteen years.
Once again, Maaike has found the collector of these items to be of real interest:
‘Margaret Hasluck was an amazing woman who travelled a lot. She was a scholar who focused her research on Albania. As a travelling fellow (in the Wilson Travelling fellowship) she collected many objects, including textiles for the museums, but also collected many objects that appealed to her personal interests.’
‘The collection contains many different things such as amulets, shoes, cradles, satchels, towels and vases. The collection also has many examples of embroidery work of different countries such as Macedonia, Greece, Turkey and of course Albania.’
Her collections were donated to the museum after Margaret grew ill in the 1940s and the museum were very pleased to take her donations.
The work that both Maaike and Marloes are doing is really beneficial to the collections and will ensure their safety and security for many more years to come. It also means that we get a chance to see these impressive collections before they are stored away for safe keeping again!