Introducing our volunteers

Posted June 9, 2016 11:51 am by Rosie Weetch under Project updates Volunteering

We are now half way through getting the Museum of the Order of St John’s collection ready to go online. Photographs have been taken and edited, and we are now nearing the end of getting all our catalogue records up to scratch.

Getting the records of the Museum’s medieval objects ready to go online has involved an enormous amount of work:  from identifying and researching the objects; pulling together information from over a century of museum documentation; weighing and measuring the objects; photographing them;  creating bibliographies of sources; to standardising the language used in the records so they can be effectively searched. Research Fellow Rosie Weetch has been overseeing this process. This task would have been impossible without the help of a team of dedicated and expert volunteers, and we wanted to use Volunteers’ Week to take a moment to recognise their hard work and say thank you!

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Katy Wild has been Volunteering at the Museum of the Order of St John for a year and is helping us on the project in many ways. Currently she is documenting and photographing the coins from Rhodes and the medieval manuscripts.

Katy Wild

LDOSJ13.30

Grant by Henry, son of Robert of Silverley, to the Hospitallers, of land in Thurstonland near Huddersfield. 1130. LDOSJ 30.13

Katy Wild

Katy is a longstanding member of the museum’s volunteer team, but has in recent months been devoting more of her time to help out with documenting the medieval objects for the Bearers of the Cross project. In particular Katy has been creating records for around 50 medieval manuscripts by transcribing their content, identifying the names of individuals associated with them, carrying out research into their provenance and photographing them all. The collection largely concerns land transactions involving the Order of St John. The earliest in the collection dates to 1130 and is Grant by Henry, son of Robert of Silverley, to the Hospitallers, of land in Thurstonland near Huddersfield.

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Sevinc Duvarci has joined the project as a volunteer to specifically work on the architectural fragments of the medieval church excavated in Clerkenwell in the 19th century.

Sevinc Duvarci

The collection of architectural fragments at the Museum of the Order St John.

The collection of architectural fragments at the Museum of the Order St John.

Sevinc Duvarci

Sevinc joined the Bearers of the Cross project a few months ago to help us document and get our heads around over 500 fragments of architectural stone excavated from the Order’s medieval Priory in Clerkenwell in the beginning of the 20thcentury. The stonework has been studied multiple times by different people over the last century, from the original excavators, via a University of East Anglia undergraduate, and finally in the early 1990s by the Museum of London. Piecing together this disparate information has been a tricky and painstaking task. But Sevinc has been indefatigable in her efforts, and we now for the first time have a full account of the material in a single place.

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Audrey

Audrey-Eve L. Blouin

Coin of William De Villehardouin, 1245-72. LDOSJ ACH7.

Coin of William De Villehardouin, 1245-72. LDOSJ ACH7.

Audrey-Eve L. Blouin

Audrey has worked with the Museum for a year as a conservation volunteer, but was keen to help on the project and we were more than happy to have her. The Museums holds around 700 coins from the crusading world, including nearly 200 from the Greek Crusader states that had never been fully document. Audrey gamely took on the task of weighing and measuring them, and then creating records for them on the museum’s database Museum Plus. This is one of the most important collections of crusader coins in the country, and will be the first to be made freely accessible online, so it was important that the information recorded was consistent and accurate. Audrey’s attention to detail and dedication means that the database of coins will become an invaluable research resource.

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It would not have been possible to carry out the worked needed on the Bearers of the Cross project without the hard work of our volunteers, and we are incredibly grateful for their continued efforts and enthusiasm for the project. We look forward to working with them more in the future, and welcoming more volunteers to the team over the summer.

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