Tag Archives: Artifacts

Cataloging Begins

Most of the RCC artifacts have been stored in bulk for decades – that is, either sharing a frame with as much as 132 other artifacts, sharing a dresser drawer with as much as 235 other artifacts, or sharing a small plastic tub with as much as 560 other artifacts. The cataloging process marks the beginning of a new life for the artifacts as they receive special individual attention and new archival-quality homes.

V. Pecoreno (top), E. Leaverton (right corner), and C. Hammarstrom (right) entering data into the project catalog; Photo by B. Hornbeck

The cataloging process is simple yet meticulous. The characteristics of each artifact are documented in the catalog to create a sort of data-driven fingerprint. The artifacts are even assigned unique identification numbers that will allow them to remain in association with their data.

J. Parr takes a closer look at the flaking patterns on this projectile; Photo by B. Hornbeck

A series of quantitative and qualitative data are collected from each artifact and entered into the catalog. Some of the data, such as the catalog number, are also copied onto a 4-mil polyethylene zip-bag to protect the artifacts from damage and potential data-loss.

The cataloging process also includes capturing still photographs of each artifact. We especially look forward to starting the process of capturing 3D scans of the artifacts soon!

C. Hammarstrom and H. McCarty measure and weigh projectiles while E. Leaverton and J. Parr enter the data into the catalog; Photos by B. Hornbeck

Left: The first artifact to be photographed, Photo by C. Hammarstrom; Right: J. Parr photographs an artifact; Photo by B. Hornbeck

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23 Frames

The Richard Cook Collection includes 23 framed displays of various Indigenous artifacts, each artifact meticulously positioned to form a pattern. The creation of patterned artifact displays was common practice for collectors in the early-mid 20th century. 

Frame No. 22, Richard Cook Collection; Photo by B. Hornbeck

Today, the RCC Project team is meticulously documenting the position of each artifact within the framed displays. The frames will need to be disassembled to prepare the cultural materials for curation and long-term preservation.

Side-by-side sketch and photo of Frame No. 6, Richard Cook Collection; Sketch by I. Beste, Photo by B. Hornbeck

Here is a quick break-down of the process: Each of the frames are photographed and hand-sketched. Any identifying numbers or other secondary markings on the individual artifacts are labeled respectively on the sketches. Each artifact is removed from it’s wire-tie bracket and immediately placed within it’s own 4-mil polyethylene zip. Sketches will be digitized and deposited with the collections archived data.

Frame No. 6 being disassembled, Richard Cook Collection; Left: I. Beste, Middle: J. Parr; Photo by B. Hornbeck
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