Saturday, December 22, 2007


The staff has taken their holidays in staggered shifts to ensure that we all have our allotted time off for the Christmas holiday and that the Museum gallery is covered (and open). We'll do the same around the New Year's holiday. For me, that means that I'll be in the museum one day next week. I'm trying to get administrative things out of the way, since I'm sure next Thursday (my one day) will be overwhelmingly busy.

It's been busier than we thought today. People have been flocking to the newly-instituted courthouse tours. That's good news, since Mickie worked long and hard writing the docent training materials, holding training sessions, and recruiting new volunteers. She's been so successful that we're going to institute the first ever official docent/volunteer training program for the Museum. All new and veteran volunteers will have to complete the training. I'm excited; this is something we've needed to do for a long time. Plus, we need to give our volunteers all the training necessary for them to complete their tasks.

We've received bids for the construction necessary for the new Swedish Texans exhibit. The crew will start on January 2. So, between then and now (okay... on my one day next week) we'll need to move exhibit cases to the courthouse and install artifacts, move all extra exhibit cases and other stuff to our storage unit, and move all the furniture in Jeanne's area away from the walls so they can be built up and painted.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Happy Cataloguers

In November, my intern (Celina) and I decided to train interested volunteers in the fine art of cataloguing. This is very important work. Most of our catalogued artifacts have descriptions such as "blue dress." That's not nearly enough information. What I like to tell my volunteers is this-- I need to be able to look at the cataloguing description for a specific artifact, go to a shelf full of that type of artifact, and from the description pick out exactly what I'm looking for.

So, we've started by cataloguing the huge Southwestern University/ Mood-Heritage Museum collection we've received over the past few years. Every Tuesday afternoon, my dedicated volunteers work to catalogue and number items in the collection. We've already catalogued over 50 artifacts in the past few weeks. I'm so proud! Yesterday, while Cindy and Ed worked away, I caught up with entering accession information for all of 2007 in PastPerfect.

In exhibit world, I'm swimming in Swedish Texans information...photographs, letters, books, articles, and artifacts. Everyday we receive more historical information and meet people whose family came to Texas from Sweden. Our Memorials for the exhibit have been hugely successful, and we've created a page on our website devoted exclusively for the donors. Everyone has been very pleased.

Jeanne's on vacation this week, so staff and volunteers are working together to make sure the front end is covered and all visitors feel welcomed. Mickie thinks she'll have her first official courthouse tour.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Hands-On History

Today, there's a lot going on at WCHM. Mickie's scheduled a Hands-On History activity (making Victorian Christmas ornaments) all day. Luckily, some of the Round Rock Junior Historians are coming in to help. She's also scheduled docent training for the newly restored Williamson County Courthouse.

Me? I've got to get a three-year-old Deed of Gift signed, hold our last Acquisitions Subcommittee Meeting of the year, and try, try, try to get some of the upcoming Swedish-Texans exhibit written. I'm teaching myself to use a desktop publishing program to, hopefully, create more expert-looking labels.

The rain's cleared up. Hopefully, we'll have a big crowd today.