Ceramic vessels in hand-built archival mounts. Photo by Kerri Wilhelm.

From now until spring 2018, movers will carefully pack three million artifacts from the UMMAA (from both Ruthven and Kipke), load them onto trucks, and unpack them at their new home at the Research Museums Center (formerly called Varsity Drive) in south Ann Arbor. Keep track of the progress with our bimonthly updates. 

Over the last few months, thousands of artifacts have found their way from storage on Kipke Drive to their new home at the Research Museums Center (RMC) on Varsity Drive.  

Collection manager Kerri Wilhelm provided some numbers to put the summer’s work in context.

“We are not quite three months into the Kipke move,” she wrote. In that time, the crew has moved:

  • 13 old wooden cabinets with 285 trays
  • 44 open shelving units with 277 shelves
  • 824 bulk collection boxes of archaeological material
  • approximately 4,500 ceramic sherds and intact vessels from the Asia Collection

To date, Wilhelm noted, movers have transported more than 56,000 freestanding objects from Kipke to RMC.

The crew at Kipke also has to prepare to move hundreds of artifacts that require special handling. They have to create archival mounts for 112 oversized ceramic vessels, place about 60 Tibetan thangkas (textiles) on conservator board for the trip to RMC, and order about 275 archival tubes for textiles that can be kept in rolled storage.

Meanwhile, at Ruthven, collection manager Lauren Fuka prepared for the relocation of each range’s books to RMC by labeling and color-coding the shelves. Corrigan movers will take the books to RMC in early August.

Lauren also spends part of each week at RMC, directing the work on the collection database.

“Now that the Ruthven move has wrapped up, we are making sure catalog records are entered and everything has a storage location (cabinet/drawer#) to say where it is housed at RMC,” she explained. 

Josh from the Corrigan move team sits next to large vases from the Asia Collection that required special archival mounts. Photo by Kerri Wilhelm.

Books in the Ethnobotany Range at Ruthven, ready to be packed and moved. Photo by Lauren Fuka.

Melanie and Annie work on inventory and database updates at RMC. Photo by Lauren Fuka.