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What steps are being taken to prepare our artefacts for transfer to the new depot?

28 February 2022

At the present time, we are getting more than 50,000 heritage artefacts ready for transportation. All these artefacts are held and administered by Musea Brugge and are part of the applied arts and folklore collections. They are currently stored at various locations throughout the city, but in the near future they will all be moved to a single new storage depot: the Erfgoedfabriek.

Musea Brugge verhuist Erfgoedfabriek Musea Brugge 3

During the coming months, this blog will introduce you to different aspects of these depots and we will shine a light on some of the many sub-collections that Musea Brugge is privileged to possess. We will also provide updates about the progress of the different infrastructure projects (Erfgoedfabriek, BRUSK) and give useful and interesting background information about our collection and its forthcoming transfer.

This month, we will explain the steps that need to be taken to make an artefact ready for transportation to the new storage facility. Moving a valuable collection of art and heritage objects is by no means straightforward. It requires a great deal of specialist preparation, in which a sound plan, a strong team and a good portion of perseverance are crucial.

Registration areas

Preparations for the move were already started in the various depots some eighteen months ago. To allow the objects to be transferred in a careful and structured manner, a number of registration areas were created. A registration area is a workplace within each depot, complete with a photo studio, in which every artefact is subject to the same set of procedures.

Musea Brugge verhuist Erfgoedfabriek Musea Brugge 4

Step 1: Cleaning

Musea Brugge verhuist Erfgoedfabriek Musea Brugge 1

Step 2: Registration

Cleaning and registration

We start by removing all dust from the object and cleaning it thoroughly. After this, the object is registered and measured. This allows a basic registration to be made. A more detailed registration will follow later on. The details of the objects in the collection that have already been registered in the past are re-checked for accuracy. All the registration details are collected and collated in a central online databank. Part of the registered collection can already be consulted on Collection Musea Brugge.

Labelling and photographing

After each object from the collection has been cleaned and registered, it is taken to the photographic studio, where it is photographed. This is followed by its clear and accurate labelling. Later on, it will be crucial to know where every object is located, both during and after the transfer. With this in mind, every object is provided with a label with a unique barcode, as in the case in, say, a supermarket or a warehouse. The barcode is printed in high-quality ink on a durable label, so that the information will remain legible for a long time. The code is linked to the registration in the databank and will work as a track-and-trace system during the transportation of the collection.

Musea Brugge verhuist Erfgoedfabriek Musea Brugge 3 nieuws

Step 3: Photographing

Musea Brugge verhuist Erfgoedfabriek Musea Brugge 2

Step 4 & 5: Labelling and packing

Finally: packing

After the registration procedure has been completed, every object is packaged in the most appropriate manner. This packaging is also provided with a hand-scanned barcode. The necessary link between the object and its packing is also made in the database. A single click on a mouse makes it possible to see which object is contained in which packaging – which is very useful in a major transfer operation like this one!

All 50,000 heritage objects in the Musea Brugge collection will be treated in this same careful and structured manner, until they are all ready for transportation. It may seem like a monumental and gruelling task, but it also brings great satisfaction to those involved, because it makes a major contribution towards the safe, orderly and efficient transfer of our collection of art and heritage artefacts to our new depots in the Heritage Factory and towards the complete updating of our online databank.

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Musea Brugge is moving