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Inside the Museum: what we found in The Queue

The 2013 Perfect Day passport
by The Museum Cataloguers
Wednesday 7 August 2013

Inside the Museum is a new blog from the Museum cataloguers, whose task it is to order and organise the Wimbledon Museum's vast and ever-growing collection.

What a Championships!

Not only did the summer we have all been waiting for arrive, but we have a male British champion for the first time in 77 years. As for the Queue, it proved to be as popular as ever as ‘Murray Mania’ swept the nation!              

So what did the Queue 2013 have to offer?

This year we allocated the second and third day of the first week to venture into the Queue and discovered an array of exciting objects, ranging from outfits worn by the Robinsons’ promoters entertaining the public, to stickers given out to Queuers.  One of the objects we collected was an information booklet from the HSBC enclosure (pictured above). In addition to these, the Queue gave us another opportunity to talk to the fans, particularly those who had queued over night. For instance, some of those at the front of the Queue had been there since the Monday night specifically hoping for a Grounds ticket for Wednesday!

The booklet, entitled ‘Your Perfect Day Passport’, features a map of the All England Lawn Tennis Club, information about HSBC and The Championships, information about local bars and taxis, autograph pages, a tube map and fun facts and games. For example, did you know that yellow tennis balls were first used at Wimbledon in 1986? This booklet would have kept some of the queuers entertained until arriving in to the grounds.

So, once we have it, what do we do with it?

Firstly, the object is given a unique number which belongs to that item alone.  Next, we give it a record on the Museum’s collections database known as ‘Vernon’.  This record will contain a brief description of the object’s characteristics, a condition report, its measurements and its location within the store. If the object is damaged in any way, it may be in need of conservation. In the case of a paper object like the leaflet, it would be mechanically cleaned initially to remove any surface dirt. If there are any tears, they would be repaired and supported with wheatstarch paste and a very thin tissue, like Spider or Lens tissue. If there are creases, then the object would be humidified to ‘relax’ it, and then pressed between blotting paper and pressing boards.

The object will become part of the Field Collection and will be housed with other ‘Queue’ items.  There may come a time in the future when we create another exhibition that looks into the Queue experience. These objects will then be able to tell the story of how The Queue has grown in size and popularity over the past 13 years.

Judging by this year’s Championships, it is likely the Queue will continue to contribute to the collection and our heritage with more weird and wonderful things.

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