Tomorrow (07/05/13) at 14:30 pm is the AGM of the Friends of the Margate Museum to be held at the Margate Museum and with all the publicity I have generated over the status of the Thanet District Council collection I think it will be a very interesting meeting. I have not seen the agenda but I suspect the audit of the collection will get a mention as it is the Friends group that is providing TDC with the volunteer support to undertake the task.
On my last visit to the museum I noticed many of the prints hanging on the wall have been audited/catalogued as they have number stickers on them and in most cases they have three numbers a "MM" number, a 4 digit number which I assume is a TDC catalogue number and there is another 4 digit number which I assume is a acquisition number. Checking through my archive when I got back home I have lists of items that have a number starting "JJ" and even some items having three different 4 digit numbers or even a Parker collection number from 1 to 10,422. To make the system even more confusing there are numbers starting with an "E" and there is what is known as the "T" list with the number obviously starting with a "T".
The "E" and "T" are the lists of donated or loaned items from 1974 to 2007.. The "T" list opened in 1974 and it was found in 1985 that most items in the "T" list had been inadequately recorded and some had " no antecedent history". I do know for a fact that every single "T" item as from 1985 to 1994 donated or loaned to the museum were recorded in great detail and that included sketching many items. The acquisition books from that period are still in the museum and all the details are handwritten and are probably the most accurate records in the museum. In 1994 the East Kent Maritime Museum took over the management of the collection and they used a different system for loans and donations using carbon copies hand written and with numbers starting with an "E" . They were listed on a computer as they entered the museum. The carbon copies where then kept in lever arch files of which I think there are five. It was this system in 2005 that started to fail as items were entering the museum without being recorded or a receipt issued. I have looked at the "E" list files and it is noticeable that some pages are missing from the years 2005 to the 2007 closure period, as to whether they are on the computer I do not know. However there could be a perfect explanation as they were the records of returned loans, but this is an area I think should be vigorously investigated.