let's do collections care right

As 4Culture’s Heritage Collection Care program opens its annual application cycle for a third year, organizations are encouraged to assess their collection needs and to propose projects that will advance stewardship of collections held in the public trust. One group that has demonstrated the program’s impact potential is the Snoqualmie Valley Historical Society in North Bend.

Recognizing their responsibility in caring for historic collections, in 2008, the Society submitted a successful proposal to 4Culture called “Let’s Do It Right!” The funding awarded to their project enabled the Society to hire a professional objects conservator to conduct a general collection assessment. The consultant’s resulting report outlined short, mid, and long term recommendations for improving storage and provided guidance for the Society in implementing best practices, policies, and budget priorities.

In 2009, the conservator’s report provided the groundwork for the Society’s second Collections Care application called “We Did It Right! What’s Next?” That proposal addressed one of the priorities identified in the report – care of the textile collection. Through guidance and training from a collections professional, volunteers documented and stored clothing items using acid free materials, and entered item descriptions and storage locations into PastPerfect, a data management program specifically designed for museums.

Heritage Collections Care served as the impetus for the Snoqualmie Valley Historical Society to do it right, and the program can provide the seed money for addressing collections issues within other King County heritage organizations.

2010 program guidelines and instructions for applying online are posted here and a schedule of application workshops may be found here. The application deadline is June 30. For more information contact Eric Taylor or 206-296-8688.

Photo: Objects conservator Dana Senge analyzing the SVHS collections