Like all museums we have lots of objects in our store. Also, like many museums we used to have a much more ‘relaxed’ approach to acquisitions than we do now. Today if an object is offered for donation it must fit within the remit laid out in our Collections Development Policy; this was not always the case.
Over the last five years we have been rationalising our social history collection and transferring and disposing of objects that are not relevant, have little historical significance, are duplicated in the collection, are in poor condition or have no provenance. Disposals can be a difficult topic and we have been carefully utilising the Museum Association’s ethical disposal toolkit.
The most enjoyable part of the job is when you manage to re-home an unloved and overlooked object into a new museum. This has recently happened with a water filter and butter churn which have been transferred to Sewerby Hall and Gardens near Bridlington.
They are now on display in the Hall’s Edwardian kitchen and according to the Halls’ Education manager Robert Chester, they are a big hit with the visitors.