My name is Samantha Hixson and I am the new collections assistant here at the Peabody. I come to you from New Mexico where the weather is warm and has left me completely unprepared for New England winters (although Marla and Lindsay promise that they’ll get me through it).
I have previously worked at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe, New Mexico as well as the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC. It’s these places that got me excited to work within museums, focusing specifically on Native American collections. So you can imagine how excited I was when I was hired to work at the Peabody, it’s the perfect job for me! I’ve also had some other very interesting archaeological/ethnographic experiences, but those are for other posts.
I’ve started getting my feet wet in a couple projects already (with the promise of a lot more to come) and am most excited about the re-housing of the collection as well the Adopt A Drawer program. I think it’s great that these collections are getting new homes and more personal interactions, however brief.
If you’re in the neighborhood of the museum, come stop by; I’d love to meet you!
As I began working this summer on the reboxing project, it immediately became apparent that the artifacts needed room to grow sooner rather than later. Moving the objects from the wooden drawers into the boxes revealed just how heavy some of those drawers were – some too heavy to be supported by the new archival boxes.
What I needed was solid temporary shelving to support these materials. Donnegan Systems, Inc. of Northboro, Massachusetts to the rescue! Donnegan Systems has been consulting with us periodically to reimagine collections storage once all the artifacts have been boxed. They saw our need and offered some spare shelving that was taking up space in their warehouse. Delivered and installed in a single morning, these shelves will facilitate faster progress with the reboxing project.
Fifteen-hundred custom archival boxes were delivered on Monday, July 25 to initiate the Peabody’s collections rehousing project. Unloading the truck and storing the boxes was hard work, but was an important first step toward completely rehousing and inventorying our large collection. The boxes were assembled to our specifications by Hollinger Metal Edge and are archival quality.
These boxes are made possible by a grant from the Abbot Academy Association, continuing Abbot’s tradition of boldness, innovation, and caring. They will be used to replace the old wooden drawers that have supported our collection for decades, and will provide protection and a long-term home for our artifacts.
A special ‘thank you’ goes out to Will Shahbazian and C. Woodrow Randall for their helping hands (and paws).