Friday, November 19, 2010

Collections Housecleaning

If you've been to the Museum lately, you've probably noticed us moving our offices around- what an ordeal!! WHEW!!
Amy our Educator, moved her office out in the upstairs area and now has access to a storage closet to keep all of her education stuff together (Yay!) and Dana our Curator, moved into Amy's old office upstairs in the same space as Abby, our Registrar. That was a smart move!
We've now got the downstairs collections office area open and free to use as a workspace for our faithful collections volunteers who come weekly to help catalog artifacts.

Now that we have access to that workspace, Abby & Dana have been hard at work (a sort of 'housecleaning'), going through the collections, and re-housing archives in archival boxes and making sure that we have the entire collections cataloged. When we pull objects we also inspect them for deterioration, and try to preserve them to the best of our ability. (this is a rather large task, mind you)  A large part of accessioning objects is the legal paperwork that goes along with it, and keeping track of collections could easily be a full time job! And along the way, we find some pretty interesting items. Some recent donations include items from a local barbershop, Swedish baptismal records, and a large collection of family photographs. The curator & registrar must have a close relationship with the collections artifacts, because this is what we build our exhibits from.
(and let me tell you, we have some pretty cool exhibits coming in the future!- So keep your eyes peeled!)


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ghosts and Graves, Oh My!

October can be a creepy, spooky month and we at the Williamson Museum were determined not to be left out of all that ghostly fun.  On Halloween weekend, we hosted Ghosts on the Square, where costumed docents led tours of the Georgetown square and related the stories of the many other-worldly specters which haunt the historic buildings there.  We had four sold-out tours each night and our guests left the square with a new appreciation for the people of the county who were perhaps none too ready to leave this world for the next.  A shout-out to Quenan's Jewelers, who added creepiness to our tours with a mummy in their second story window!  It gave everybody a bit of a start to find something unexpectedly lurking in that window!

Continuing with the other-worldly theme, the museum hosted a Cemetery Tour at the Independent Order of Oddfellows (IOOF) Cemetery on November 6th.  In this event, costumed interpreters told the story of the many prominent citizens of Williamson County buried at the IOOF and how they contributed to the success of Southwestern University.  Among the dead who "returned" to speak to our guests were SWU presidents, trustees, businessmen, ministers, and their wives.  Many returning Southwestern graduates, in Georgetown for Homecoming, enjoyed touring the cemetery and learning about the many men and women who worked diligently to ensure that Southwestern would continue to "survive and thrive" into the twenty-first century.

The success of these two programs ensures that the museum will survive and thrive, as well.  I look forward to planning the next Ghosts on the Square and Cemetery Tour next year.  And in case you missed it, I hope you will plan on coming out to one or both events in 2011 to experience the rich and (sometimes) spooky history that Williamson County has to offer.