Museum Studies Blog

Posted on June 8th, 2021 in Internships, Student Work by Laura Holzman | Tags:

By Olivia Underwood, IUPUI Museum Studies MA student

Masonic pins and badges stored in plastic baggies


In a crowded tray lies hundreds of loosely piled baggies, their contents shining out to any researcher or volunteer visiting the storage space of the Masonic Library and Museum of Indiana. Lapel pins, badges, awards, and other pin fastened objects clink against each other and their own parts in their loose baggies labelled with their object ID numbers. Pins bend or break, metal and decorative enamel scratches, and finding any one pin fastened object for research or display is nearly impossible. A new storage solution had to be found.

In fall 2020 and spring 2021, I held the position of intern at the Masonic Library and Museum of Indiana. I knew we needed a new solution for the hundreds of pin fastened objects in our collection. After doing a bit of research on the storage of similar objects, I discovered the work of New York University Library conservators Angela M. Andres and Laura McCann on the storage of buttons and pins from political candidates.

Masonic pins and badges tied to a foam base for archival storage


Basing my own storage solution on their model, I began the prototyping process. After some work and the help of my undergraduate intern Beth Kehrwald, I was satisfied with the results!