Documenting the Collections of Seiyun Museum, Yemen | Saeed Bayashoot (ITP 2016)

Saeed Bayashoot (ITP 2016), Documentation and Collections Management, Seiyun Museum, Yemen

The governing body should ensure that the museum has a written and published constitution, statute, or other public document in accordance with national laws, which clearly states the museum’s legal status, mission, permanence and non-profit nature.
ICOM Code of Ethics for Museum

It is very important to receive good training in documentation methods. There are basic principles for museum records that are common to all museums, however each museum has its own system for documenting collections.


Saeed documenting collections

We are working on the documentation of exhibited collections at Seiyun Museum, using accession numbers, an accession register, manual and computerised files.


Documentation materials, Seiyun Museum

Digitising artefacts is a significant part of our responsibility for caring for them: ‘a picture is worth a thousand of words’.

In our current circumstances in Seiyun Museum, Yemen, the digitisation project is moving, but slowly. We are using whatever equipment we have available to create an easy photographic studio which consists of: a plain backdrop, two lights, a tripod and a camera. The backdrop is an old single-colour bedsheet (durable and washable), attached to a large piece of cardboard.


Photographic set-up, Seiyun Museum

It is also necessary for museums to have a documentation policy – currently we do not have this in our museum.

I was hoping to attend the ITP+ course in Photograph and Documentation to get basic skills in photography (studio and site photography) as well as writing a documentation policy and choosing a database system. I think creative photography is very important in order to improve the images we produce: understanding how to choose the best viewpoint, light the object, find the correct exposure.

I am really sad not to have been able to join the course but my museum is present by following what is happening and getting all the useful information. God has decreed and what he wills, he does.