Stories From Banting’s Basement: Week 4

Hello again! Another week at Banting House has been completed!  

This week was exciting because I participated in my first event here. Last Friday, as you may have seen on our social media, Banting House participated in an Only in OEV Fridays event where artists came to dance and paint in the garden, and the museum extended their hours. Banting House will be participating in the next one on Friday, July 8th! 

Besides the event, I also spent a large amount of time cataloguing objects this week. This is the main focus of my job at Banting House, and today I wanted to share the process with you.  


The object is assigned an accession number based on the four-part accession number system we have here at Banting House. The number is then attached to the object. There are rules when deciding where and how to place the number. Each accession number must be reversible, safe for the object, and should be discreet (for exhibition purposes).  

The way the number is attached is based on the material of the object.  For objects such as books, the number is written in pencil discreetly in the corner (as shown below). Other methods may include sewing a label, stringing a label (as shown below) or by creating a barrier coat.  Object measurements are also taken at this point in the process.  

2014.06.17.01, Banting House National Historic Site
2014.06.15.02, Banting House National Historic Site


The next step in the process is conducting research on the object to gather as much information as possible. This could be of the history of the object itself or something related to it. The research usually starts with a visual examination where you look for company names, dates, people’s names; pretty much anything that can help in determining the date and origin of the object..  

For example, last week I encountered stone blocks (shown below). I was able to determine the manufacturer, Phoenix Toy Company Ltd., by the front label. This was useful in determining the date of the object. I was able to date it between 1940 and 1945.  

2014.06.14.01, Banting House National Historic Site
2014.06.14.01, Banting House National Historic Site


The next step is to do a condition evaluation. An object can be in excellent, good, fair or poor condition. This is determined by the wear, damage, and stability of the object. This also where you make note of any conservation methods that need to be completed to preserve the integrity of the object. After all this information is gathered, photographs are taken of the object and any damage that needs to be highlighted. After photos, the object is assigned a location in collection storage.  

Below is a notebook of diet sheets from December 1, 1920 – January 16, 1921. I labelled this object as “poor” due to the stains on the paper, the significant damage shown on the spine, and because the front cover is detached from the book.  

2014.06.22.01, Banting House National Historic Site
2014.06.22.01, Banting House National Historic Site


Once this is all completed, the information is inputted into the museum’s database for future access. Here is an example of an entry I completed of a photograph of Frederick Banting and Rt. Hon. Lord Moynihan of Leeds. After the information is entered, the object is placed in the assigned location.  

Banting House National Historic Site

And that is it!

I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about what I do here. See you next week! 

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