We’ve got a big project we are working on at the Territorial Capital Museum! Information on our entire artifact and archive collection will eventually be entered into a museum cataloging software program called PastPerfect.
We just received funding from the Kansas Humanities Council to continue our exciting project of entering our collection into our database, PastPerfect! This grant will allow us to work on our school memories hallway, where we have artifacts, photographs, and documents related to our area rural school houses and Lecompton schools. We have hired Andrew Gustafson to be our project curator with the funding. He will work with our volunteers to document, number, measure, photograph, and cross-reference the collection in that hallway–an estimated 1000 items!
We have been working on this inventory for several years now, breaking it up into several rooms at a time. We just finished a segment of the project funded through Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area. The FFNHA grant provided money to pay for a project curator, Kristie Dobbins, to guide us through our inventory project. Kristie, along with several of our volunteers, inventoried 1,214 artifacts in the Farm Room, Home Room, and lower hallway from Nov. 2016 to April 2017.
We started this huge project in the Fall of 2014 with a grant from the Douglas County Heritage Conservation Council. We were able to purchase the software PastPerfect and hire curator Lynn Ward. The project got even more momentum when we got a grant from the Kansas Humanities Council to hire a KU Museum Studies graduate student, Erik Radowski, to work for us for the 2015 Spring semester. Erik, along with the volunteers, cataloged and inventoried the entire quilt room and a good portion of the North Room.
For the Fall 2016 semester, with support from Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area, we hired another KU Museum Studies student, Rebecca Dickman, as our project curator. She is worked with our fabulous volunteers, training them in using the software and general artifact care and handling. We finished in the North Room of the museum, going item-by-item, describing, photographing, measuring and re-labeling. While we do this, we also collect the story and history (provenance) about each artifact and record it in our database, PastPerfect.
Through a grant from the KansaS Records Advisory Board (KSHRAB) we inventoried part of our large school photograph collection. We hired Monica Davis with the funding. The photographs from that project can now be accessed on kansasmemory.org. For a great article on a fabulous discovery during this grant, see: KSHRAB grant article.
Currently, we have 9 volunteers helping with shifts throughout the week. A big “thanks” to all of our wonderful volunteers. We can’t do this project without them!