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My internship in the Collections

My internship in the Collections
department at Aanischaaukamikw Cree Cultural Institute, 2018

By: Camille Crevier-Lalonde

My work as an intern as part of my course in applied
museology at Montmorency College often consist of solving problems to support and display objects that
may have specific requirements or restrictions. Making a mount is always about
the condition of the object, the center of gravity and the structural stability
of the object.

During my internship I had the
occasion of making storage mounts for a variety of objects, some of them
representing more of a challenge than others. My favourite mount making
experience was with child’s pants worn during a walking out ceremony.


On loan from Trifona Simard, SIMARD-2016-2


The first step was to construct
padding for the leather pants. Measurements had to be taken for sewing small pads
of synthetic fabric (Tyvek– high
density polyethylene material padded
with polyester fibers). The padding is useful for the object : the weight of
the leather is distributed equally on the padding, causing less stress on the
object and maintaining the fabric in a position that resemble the natural position
of the object before it came on loan.

From the perspective of
conservation, organic collections are the most fragile material types in a
museum. Light, temperature/humidity variations and insects may deteriorate any
leather object: that is why it is important to use stable materials and
non-acid fibers (like Tyvek) that will
keep the objects from deteriorating.

As an intern, I learned that the
objects do not always need as much support as we would think. Additions of
material may cause stress on a fragile object. Some leather ornaments, such as
leather fringes, can be hard to present directly on a mount, because they are
made of a malleable fabric. Sometimes, the object is a good mount in itself for
these ornaments. In the picture below, we can see that the pants are supporting
the fringes well.

The second step was to construct
a tray for supporting the object in storage. The pants were installed on a
rigid support, consisting of non-acidic Hollinger board, covered with a layer
of microfoam and acid free cotton
fabric. The fabric had been pinned to adjust equally the tension of the textile
on the mount, then taped at the back of the board, with acid free tape. The
pants were held in place on the board with cotton ribbons.

This Hollinger board provided an easy
way of supporting the pants in storage; the pants can now be observed without
any movement of the object itself, which is good for the prevention of any
damage during storage.