Drove to the Yosemite Ave. warehouse for a day of working with artifacts. In the morning I put away some artifacts that had been brought out 3 weeks ago for a researcher. People researching computer history can ask to look at artifacts. When their project is approved, the relevant things are found and moved out to tables in the open area of the warehouse. In this case, the person was researching keyboard technology, and ten or so things with keyboards had been brought out. Aurora the curator said he got really nice photos, but I haven’t seen them.
Anyway, you don’t just put something away any old where. You look up its object number in the database; verify the location it came from (row, block, shelf numbers); walk over to find that location and make sure there is space on the shelf and nothing is in the way of transporting the thing; walk back and pick it up (or for heavy things, put it on a cart); move it to the location and shelve it. With over 110,000 objects, it is imperative that you know where objects are at every point.
Some of the things had been in boxes. In that case you have the additional step of repacking it in its box with other artifacts, then shelve the box where it came from.
In the afternoon Steve and I worked over inventorying more boxes. Lucky us, the boxes we took down from the shelf turned out to be part of the big collection of slide rules that the museum received in 2005. You do a database search on the box number; that turns up records for all the objects supposedly in the box. You verify that there are that many objects in the box (one box had 35 rules, one had 54). You go through the list of object numbers, finding each object, verifying that its database record is complete (often it isn’t) and that it has a photograph (often it doesn’t). If anything needs photographing, the box moves to the to-be-photographed cart. Or if it needs repacking (as the box of 54 rules did, they could be much better arranged) it goes on the repacking cart. Or rarely, the box goes on the “reshelve” cart so Aurora can figure out a more efficient place to put it. The box’s location record gets updated for each of these moves, of course.
Coming back, I stopped at FOPAL to hang up a cute picture in my computer section.
This came from a wonderful collection that Frank found, of pictures of anime characters holding computer books. I mean, the internet is a wonderful and bizarre place. Somebody has created and curated a large collection of pictures of anime characters holding computer books. Just specifically that.
Back home to rest. Then at 6:30, out to attend a play at The Pear. This turned into a fiasco. I thought to just buzz down 101 to Shoreline. Hah! When I hit 101 it was bumper to bumper creeping. I got off at San Antonio with fifteen minutes until start time. Went up to Middlefield and started South with ten minutes to go. Somehow — and I don’t like the implications of this — I missed the left turn onto Shoreline and found myself too far down Middlefield, at Ellis. Back under 101 and north to Shoreline, by which time it was 7:10 and no possible way to make the curtain. So I headed back home, but retracing my steps back to Shoreline and Middlefield. Yes, I know this intersection. Yes, I am positive I came down Middlefield 20 minutes ago, through here. And I didn’t see it. Was I distracted? I don’t know. But I don’t like it.