Museum items being photographed


Treasures from the Teviot District Museum are being revealed one object at a time.
Carl Street, of Roxburgh, has begun photographing and cataloguing items from the museum and uploading them to eHive, a worldwide database of heritage items.
Using his skills as an award-winning photographer, each object is carefully photographed against a neutral white background.
Most objects had a single image uploaded to eHive, but he took many photographs of the items from all sides, providing a ‘‘3-D view’’, allowing him to have a record of the object from all angles, Mr Street said.
This enabled him to conduct detailed research of each object, using clues like manufacturer name or distinguishing features to uncover further information.
This had turned up some interesting insights, including a mixing bowl made by T.G. Green & Co, of Church Gresley, in Derbyshire, England.
To his surprise he discovered the factory was about 500m from the first house he owned in England, he said.
There were some ‘‘basic notes’’ that came with each object, often when it was donated, but sometimes they were not that accurate.
One object had a note saying it was thought the object was ‘‘designed for cutting up poison for rabbits’’, but he took one look at it and knew exactly what it was — ‘‘a pasta cutter’’.

Time scale . . . Salter’s Improved Family Scale, dating from the 1900s, one of the many objects in the Teviot District Museum. PHOTOS: TEVIOT DISTRICT MUSEUM / CARL STREET

Although all objects from the museum collection were priceless for the stories they told about the Teviot Valley, Mr Street admitted he did ‘‘keep hoping’’ he would come across an object of great value.
‘‘I think that would be quite cool, but I have not found anything yet that I would go ‘Ooh, that’s going to be worth something’.’’
At the moment the focus was on cataloguing objects but other items in the museum, including documents and letters, could be recorded and listed on the site.
The museum had a large collection of photographs that he was photographing with a camera or, when suitable, scanning, using a scanner provided by the Teviot Valley Community Development committee.
As well as providing a durable and more accurate catalogue of the museum collection, he hoped being able to view objects from the museum online would encourage people to visit the museum in person, he said.
Museum secretary Annette Watts said being able to give Mr Street a small contract to begin creating an electronic archive was ‘‘really quite exciting’’.
So far, about 65 objects had been photographed, but with more than 1000 objects in the museum the project would take some time.
It was likely that ‘‘a band of volunteers’’ would be needed later to help complete the project.
‘‘It is a huge job. It won’t be done in five minutes — it probably won’t be done in five years,’’ she said.

★ View the growing collection at — type Teviot District Museum into the search field.

Drug paraphernalia . . . Chinese opium scales that fit inside a wooden case, one of many old items in the Teviot District Museum. PHOTO: TEVIOT DISTRICT MUSEUM / CARL STREET
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