Friday, March 25, 2011

Please DO Touch The Artifacts!

"Please Do Not Touch" signs are common at museums, and help to protect valuable historical artifacts from being damaged by casual handling.  But behind the scenes at The Williamson Museum, our trained collections volunteers DO touch!... wearing protective gloves, of course.  Two times a week, volunteers gather at the Museum to catalog artifacts from Williamson County's past.  Under the supervision of the Museum Curator, they measure, describe, and assess the condition of assorted objects ranging from love letters to chicken feeders and everything in between.  It's a great way for inquisitive volunteers to put their "hands on" history, while also helping The Williamson Museum document its growing collection of artifacts.

Here is a sampling of some of the approximately 500 artifacts that volunteers and Museum staff cataloged in the month of March:
  • 1941 program from a Georgetown High School production of "Headed for Eden"
  • Dust pan from Guarantee Electric Company
  • Instructions for opening a Belford Lumber Company safe
  • Pullman railcar uniform button
  • 1907 United States "Barber" dime
  • 1920 Liberty Hill High School diploma
  • Purple Heart awarded posthumously to Duncan S. Hughes for service in World War II
  • Tellus Company wood burning stove
  • Minutes from a meeting of a 1960s era Georgetown anti-segregation group
  • Photographs of workers mounting the goddess Themis statue onto the Williamson County Courthouse dome
If "Do Not Touch" signs leave you feeling a step removed from history, consider becoming a collections volunteer at The Williamson Museum!  No experience is necessary, and we'll train you on all the ins and outs of safely handling historical artifacts.  Contact the Museum at (512) 943-1670 for more information.


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