The great collection hunt 29 April 2016

Helen Taylor, House Steward Helen Taylor House Steward
A small black Faberge dog with rub eyes

So I'm back from holiday and one of the first tasks on my mile long list is a biggie - the annual collection audit, which I'm privately calling 'The great collection hunt'.

This is the time of year we check through our inventory of the collection on the property to make sure that everything is still there and correctly recorded in terms of its location.
This year I have the bonus of an intern to aid with the mammoth task of checking each of the 9192 items recorded at Polesden. My intern will also help with the checklist, marking down that we have seen each item and checked that they are recorded in the right location.  
You've probably had the experience of thinking of a personal item that you've not seen for a while, then you look for it only to find that you can't remember where you last saw it. We all know that irritation of thinking 'For the life of me, where have I put that?'
Well it's the same feeling but on a much bigger scale when checking the inventory at Polesden, only with a far more objects that are incredibly fragile and will have real ramifications if we can't find them.
We're an observant bunch here at Polesden and we have regular general checks. The more eagle-eyed among us can easily spot when something's even a centimeter out of line, so there shouldn't be any major surprises.
This year we are checking everything from the priceless items like paintings, Faberge frogs and the chandelier, to more humble items such as taps and everything in between. 
One of many Faberge pieces in the collection
A small dark green Faberge frog with diamond eyes
One of many Faberge pieces in the collection
It's like a giant stocktake and over the next couple of months you will find members of the house team crawling round looking for numbers on bits of furniture and counting knives and forks like there's no tomorrow.
Polesden Lacey
A row of old forks
Polesden Lacey
Once it's been checked, it has to be uploaded onto our collections management system and reports generated to support our status as an accreddited museum.   
So, if you see slightly stressed people in the house over the next month furiously concentrating with a clipboard, please don't panic. It's just one big treasure hunt really.
If you would like to explore our collection online, click here to visit the National Trust collection website by clicking here. 
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