Well, that is because it was a child’s hat. I didn’t know that until I read the label. Since I have a large melon for a woman, it is no wonder that I wasn’t rockin’ that child’s hat.
To get that above photo, I had to blow on the feathers.
As I told you last time, my job is to make notes on the items.
I make notes on the item number which tells you what it is. This hat is called HBC-58 which means it is a hat/bonnet, child-58th in the collection. I write down the donor number, the year and which box it was found in. Many of the items are stored in random brown cardboard boxes (often mislabled-I grabbed this box because it was labeled 1880’s women’s hats-not one in there.) We plan on fixing this box problem by getting new acid free boxes that are all similar sizes for the ease of stacking. Until that happens, I have to pack them up safely and put them back in the box I found them in and then re-label the box so we can find them again.
So what happens to these notes I am taking? Well, most of the items have been written up on little cards and these cards (thousands of them) are stored in file cabinets. When looking for a certain type of item, we have to flip through all these cards trying to find them. (Remember trying to find a library book back in the day?) If you wanted an 1880’s wedding dress, you go to the dress drawer and you flip through umpteen cards which are all mixed up. We have to flip past 1970’s work dresses and 1890’s visiting dresses and 1940’s party dresses. Then you find some cards, take them to the vault and find the dresses by the noted box number…crap, this one has damage no one made note on. Frustrating. These old cards will be transcribed onto a new computer program that will hopefully be like the Met (at least for the use of the staff). Put in key words and it pulls up photos, information and descriptions of the items. Now some of these items don’t even have these cards, or the cards are incomplete (they don’t list damage for example) so I am working on these. The girls in charge will take my notes and input the data. It is surprisingly, a lot of fun!