More Inventory, Loan Review, & IPM
Written by: Marjorie Portillo
Inventory Progress & Side Projects
We are making great progress on our inventory so far! We are close to completing the Controlled Properties inventory and have also been working on the Random Sample Inventory list. One thing that I’ve noticed is that while the Random Sample Inventory list is much smaller than the Controlled Properties list, it still takes a bit of time finding certain items from the Random Sample depending on what it is. For example, there was one item (a part of a hammer) that we needed to find. We went to the location listed on the inventory list and realized that it was inside a toolbox full of different pieces of tools and hammers! It took us a bit of time to find it since we had to find that specific piece but we found it! With the Controlled Property list, most items were much larger items so it was easier for us to spot and find them. And because the Random Sample list is quite literally a random list of items, it could take some time to find certain items especially if they are a part of a whole bulk of items. Nevertheless, we are making very good progress and have even started working on the Accessions Inventory List as well!
Besides working on Boston NHP’s Annual Inventory, we have also had some side projects to work on. One project we are currently working on is reviewing some of the items we have on loan in our collections. Like I’ve mentioned before, many of the items in our collections have been here for quite some time so it is important to review what we have on loan, figure out how many items there are, see if any loan agreements need to be renewed, and/or find out how they have been put to use during the life of the loan. (Ex. Have they been on exhibit? Have they been used for research?)
Nolan and I have been looking through the Accession logbooks and Accession files to look into what we have on loan. I have been focused on looking through items on loan within the U.S.S. Cassin Young collection. I’ve found that the majority of these items are on indefinite loan from the United States Navy and have been found on board after the ship was docked at the Charlestown Navy Yard. I have been spending much time entering the information for every loaned item into a spreadsheet and it has been really fun to see the different kinds of items that have been found onboard!
Integrated Pest Management
In addition to working on Annual Inventory and the Loans project, I have also helped Nolan with Integrated Pest Management (IPM) tasks. I remember completing some IPM tasks during my previous CRDIP internship with the NPS sites in Contra Costa County, CA but it was good to be re-acquainted with these tasks since it has been quite a while since then. IPM is extremely important in order to monitor what kinds of pests are entering the collection storage areas and plan out how to prevent any potential damage to our collections they may cause. We monitor this by using traps that have been laid out throughout the collection storage areas. I helped Nolan switch out the traps that he last laid out in May with new ones so we could examine what kinds of bugs have been traversing through the area.
Once we collected all the traps, we examined each trap and documented how many of each bug and/or bug type we found. I admit, I am not a very big fan of insects so I was a bit freaked out at first; however, as we continued on, I got a little more comfortable with examining each trap. Nolan showed me a great resource from MuseumPests.net that was extremely useful in identifying what types were caught in the traps. I was really surprised about how many different bugs exist out there! Some are so small that you’d barely notice them without using a magnifying glass! Overall, it was a very enriching experience. Nolan has been collecting data from all the traps he’s been laying out so it will be really interesting to see the kinds of plans he’ll be coming up with to help Boston NHP’s collections!