Thursday, September 18, 2008

Artifacts in the Fridge?

This week, the LSS is hosting a team of archaeologists. Part of our restoration plans include injecting grout (effectively liquid cement) under the settling SE corner of the building. Once the grout hardens, we will be unable to do further archaeological research in that area of the building, so we want to make sure we don't miss anything. In the course of their investigations, the archaeologists discovered several scraps of paper, thought to be from either a prayer book or Yiddish newspaper, and a scrap of leather, thought to be from tefillin straps.

According to The New Museum Registration Methods, the primary sources of damage to historic artifacts come form light, heat, humidity, and infestation. What could you use to store artifacts in a pinch? The fridge! So, I sent out one of the strangest emails in my life, notifying the rest of the staff that we were now storing historic artifacts in the vegetable crisper.

Luckily, the objects did not have to stay there long. They are now safely stored in the coldest office in our building, awaiting further examination. (Many thanks to Deb Weiner for volunteering her office.)

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