Published on Monday, 1st July 2019 - 12:00PM07/01/2019
RIMAP has created an artifact management facility in an industrial building on the campus of the Herresoff Marine Museum in Bristol, Rhode Island. Funded by RIMAP donors and a grant from the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM), the facility will provide professional services to conserve, protect, and store artifacts removed during archaeological excavations, with special attention to the needs of waterlogged materials taken from shipwreck sites and other submerged cultural resources. RIMAP has hired a professional conservator trained at Texas A&M to manage these materials.
This facility was especially created to document, treat, and store the artifacts, and samples removed by RIMAP and the ANMM, during the planned test excavations in late August and early September, to determine if a site in Newport Harbor could be the Lord Sandwich ex Endeavour.®
The facility will also be open to serve the needs of other archaeological projects in the state and region. The facility is open to the public by appointment only. Please contact [email protected] for further information.
NewPort Architecture evaluated the space as appropriate for the planned use. RIMAP began moving in small items as soon as the year's lease was signed and then bought the supplies for the initial phase of the space's adaptation. Then a team of volunteers assembled to clean and repair, and install a safety wall to enclose its half of the loft that is now the RIMAP artifact conservation facility. Summer temperatures quickly reach more than 90° in that third floor loft, so RIMAP has invested in multiple air conditioning units to cool and dehumidify the space.
After two days of intense work, RIMAP volunteers had cleaned, repaired windows, painted walls, installed floor covers, and created the book-shelf wall to separate RIMAP's half of the loft from the public area. A later team installed the framing and doors on the two ends of the bookshelf wall to secure the RIMAP space. It will take some time for RIMAP to complete moving the equipment and supplies but these early photos show what the space looks like after the first stage was completed.