Accessioning a purchase

Book of prose and a solander box containing watercolours by Thomas Kay

Another post for a nice task I have undertaken recently!  A lot of watercolours came up for auction, that were by a former Mayor of Stockport (1913) who was also in the local pharmaceuticals business.  His name was Thomas Kay, and he was a great fan of the arts – becoming a patron by setting up an arts grant.  13 of his watercolours and a book of his prose was being sold at auction, and Katie made a successful bid.  When the watercolours arrived, Katie gave the job of unpacking, accessioning and re-packing  the objects to me, which I have very much enjoyed.  The watercolours show scenes from a variety of places; it would seem Thomas Kay was a well-travelled gentleman.

Inscription on watercolour

I have written all of the information known and researched about each watercolour in the MODES record, taken a photograph to attach to the record and written (in 2B pencil) the object number on the back of each object.  These are housed in a large solander box which will be kept on a shelf with other artworks in the stores. 

I have also been able to write in the accession register, which is the hard-copy format (kept in a fire-proof safe!) for all entry items being accessioned into the collection.  This asks for the date accessioned, the date of entry, a brief description and the source of the object (gift, purchase, bequest).

Using the Accession Register


2 thoughts on “Accessioning a purchase

  1. Hello, Emma. I was really interested to read your piece about Thomas Kay. I’m trying to discover if he has any descendants because I’m researching the history of the Grafton Portrait of Shakespeare, which Thomas bought in 1909 and bequeathed to the John Rylands Library. I live in Grafton Regis, Northamptonshire, which gives the Portrait its name. If you have any information I’d be really pleased to learn about it. Best wishes, Keith Harry

    • Hi Keith,
      Thanks for your comment. I will send you an email with some of the information I can find on Thomas Kay.
      Best wishes,

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