Cataloguing The Archaeology Collections

Salisbury Museum is delighted to announce that it has been awarded £14,200 by The Pilgrim Trust to catalogue its archaeology collections. It is the recognised archaeological museum for south Wiltshire and the archaeological collections are of special significance and received Designated status in 1998 in recognition of their national importance. The extensive collections focus upon the archaeology and history of Salisbury and South Wiltshire.

The collections are strong in all periods especially prehistory and medieval.  It includes the largely Neolithic and Bronze Age finds from Stonehenge, the medieval material from Old Sarum, and part of the medieval material (shared with the British Museum) from Clarendon Palace.

Like many museums the collections have never been fully catalogued and with the demands of the 21st century the need to address this is forever increasing. The earliest attempt to record objects entering the collection of the Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum was started in 1876, 26 years after the Museum’s foundation.  This simple list of objects being taken into the Museum was maintained until 1915.  The first numerical system, where objects or groups of objects were allocated a unique number, was introduced in 1917 by Frank Stevens (Curator 1913-1949).

The first moves to computerise this object list began in the late 1980s and great progress was made during the 1990s, largely through the concerted efforts of many volunteers under the supervision of past curators.  However many objects are not fully recorded to recognised Museum standards which is hampering current staff.

Thanks to the generosity of The Pilgrim Trust Salisbury Museum is now able to recruit a Documentation Officer to catalogue this nationally important collection. If you wish to apply please speak to Collections Manager, Jane Ellis-Schön at Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum, Tel: 01722 332151 or email: janeellis-schon@salisburymuseum.org.uk. The closing date is Monday 23 November 2009.