Re: Cleaning museum storage room

Leslie Wyman

We are in the process of doing the same thing. We had a basic inventory from when we applied for our CAP grant, but had nothing accessioned other than our research library books. Nothing was tagged, but for the last few years, we did have donation receipt forms for most things. (We’re a 51 year old historical society with lots of old minutes and reports from our history, but NO reports showing who donated what for the first 47 years…)

During our fantastic CAP Assessment last year, the conservators were able to draw up a plan to help us reconfigure our space better, and this spring, we built a larger, more-secure collection storage room based on those plans. I also recently went on backroom tours of our state archives, and two museums to help me envision how to best store everything.

So, we now have gathered most of our items and have them stored in the new office (some larger items are housed in an offsite historic building we lease at present). The best thing we’ve done lately with this project is hired a history-major college student for the summer. She attends College of the Ozarks near here, which has the students work on campus, and her work/training has been in the Ralph Foster Museum doing registrar work. This is a great opportunity for us to have someone in for the summer with some background training who’s dedicated to the project, and gives her the experience for her resume (as well as a little spending money)!

Her involvement with the process has also rejuvenated our volunteers in this area, and I look forward to seeing how much we accomplish by fall! We only have her for five weeks, but is making a huge dent in the project, so that we anticipate our volunteers being able to complete it, and stay on track, once she’s back in school.