Shaanxi Normal University student researcher assists with large inventory project  overview image

Shaanxi Normal University student researcher assists with large inventory project

  • Post Date: 8/27/2020
  • Author: Kimberly Villanueva, education student
  • Reading Time: 2 minute read

The Museum’s Education Section was delighted to have had help from volunteer and traveling scholar Shanshan Wei in Summer 2019. Shanshan came to us from Shaanxi Normal University (external link) in China, where she studies Neolithic and Bronze Age burials in the province of Yunnan. She also works at the Anthropology Museum of Guangxi (external link) as an associate researcher. We were excited to get to know Shanshan, exchange ideas, and get some work done together.

Shanshan’s museum experience was greatly appreciated as she helped Education student assistants in one of their large summer projects: an inventory of the Teaching Collection objects that can be loaned to teachers or handled by visitors. This process involved checking each artifact’s physical condition and location against nearly 7,000 database records and confirming that the objects were stored safely. Shanshan was a perfect fit for this project. Not only is she an expert in handling artifacts, but she also loved going through the Spurlock’s eclectic Teaching Collection. Many times, Shanshan paused her work to take a picture of an object that fascinated her. One memorable afternoon involved discovering 1950s American women’s hats in our collection of accessories.

  • bird wrapped in orange netting against black background

When asked what her favorite artifact in the museum was, Shanshan couldn’t choose just one. Overall, she said her favorite artifacts are bronze pieces from the Shang and Zhou Dynasties in China because that is the content of her doctoral research, but from the Teaching Collection her favorites are pieces from “Mexican culture and Indian culture, such as the rain god statue and turquoise products.”

Shanshan’s enthusiasm made her a wonderful addition to the work in the Zahn Learning Center every week. On her final Wednesday afternoon with us, we set aside some time to exchange a few gifts and take some pictures together.

  • Shanshan Wei working with papers on table
  • Shanshan Wei smiling and waving