Diary of an intern – Milly Mitchell-Anyon

By Milly Mitchell-Anyon, Intern, National Services Te Paerangi

Milly Mitchell-Anyon. Te Papa.I started at National Services Te Paerangi in February 2013 under the Museum Graduate Internship Programme after finishing my Postgraduate Diploma in Museum and Heritage Studies at Massey University.

Although it’s only been six weeks since I’ve started, I’ve already learnt a lot from my time at National Services. So far I’ve been on tours around Te Papa, to being shown the depths of the natural environment collection, and even attending the blessing for the Nga Toi / Arts Te Papa with the Australian High Commission – everything so far has been a totally new and exciting experience. It’s been a real privilege to enter the museum field working at Te Papa, even if it is only for 12 weeks. 

The aim of my tenure at NSTP is to produce a series of ‘how-to’ videos for museums to physically see how to apply accession labels to common objects in collections. These short videos will serve as a go-to resource for those working in museums. The videos are largely aimed at smaller museums, or museums run by volunteers who may not have access to conservators or collection managers to show them best practice for applying accession numbers to objects.

To begin with, we had the intention of producing a labelling video for textiles, plastics and ceramics ­– but as time progressed it became clear that we needed to alter these classifications. Plastics became problematic because there were so many different types of plastics versus types of solvents and adhesives that it would be almost impossible to produce a two minute video on how to label ‘plastics.’ Instead, we decided that it would be better to focus on the method of application as opposed to the surface being applied to. Instead we’re making videos on how to apply accession numbers using the paraloid method, the Japanese tissue method and for textiles, the sewn-on cloth label.

So at the half-way point of my internship, I’ve finalised the scripts, drawn up the storyboards, contacted the people I need to contact and the next part is making it all happen.  

National Services Te Paerangi are taking me to Hamilton for the Museums Aotearoa conference which I am really excited about. Maybe in the next blog post I’ll write all about it. Hopefully by the end of my contract, I may have finally beaten the top score in Sega Rally at Game Masters.