Hello everyone! I’m excited to announce that there have been some staff changes here at the museum and I am now in charge of the Curatorial and Collections sides of things around here! I have a lot coming up with school and now working here, but I’m really looking forward to taking on the challenge. Just so you know, too, I finished my book. I ordered a prototype copy of it yesterday so that I can have something in front of me too look at to decide what changes I need to make. But, wow is that an accomplishment! I put the finishing touches on the cover design, uploaded it, and now it’s being prepped for printing. I’ll be sure to add a photo of that as soon as I can.
So, now that I’m in charge of some things here, I decided I wanted to make some big changes and start some large projects. One of our biggest problems since we’re so small is that we are always running out space to put things. So, often times, they get stacked on desks or in corners, thrown into boxes, etc. What ends up happening is that everything is a mess and it’s difficult to tell what we should be keeping and what needs to go. I’m making it my priority to get collections back on track, to get rid of what we don’t need, and to reorganize what we do need.
My first project has been a set of lateral file cabinet drawers next to our archival desk. It is full of maps, large format photographs, and old scrapbooks and record books that date back to the 1880s. Let me tell you – at the beginning of this week, none of it was cataloged, none of it was searchable in our database, none of it was properly stored and preserved, and none of it was organized in a manageable way. That is all different now! I took out every map in the top two drawers to start. I organized them into “Dunedin/Pinellas County” and “Florida” piles. Then, I further split those up. So many of the maps were copies or reprints, so I put the ones that were the same together. Then, I took photographs of all the different maps, assigned them accession numbers and put detailed descriptions about them into our database so that they could be searchable. Finally, I wrapped each map in acid-free tissue paper, labeled the outside of the paper with the new accession number, and placed a photograph of the map on the outside of the paper so it could be identified without having to be unwrapped.
We now have much more space in these drawers and a much more organized map collection! I did something similar with the large format photographs and record books, as well. Next week, I will be tackling some of the storage closets to see where to begin. I’m also going to be planning the annual Halloween exhibit, which is going to be slightly different this year, so that will be fun!
Don’t forget to come see our newest exhibit “Victorious: Dunedin, Pinellas County, and World War II,” and come see “Pomp and Circumstance” before we take it down next month 🙂