Updated: Aug 8, 2022
With summer coming to a close, the Society has put to rest a number of important projects, reaching goals set back at the beginning of the year. We say goodbye to our intern and look to the promise of a new semester and the continued partnership with the history department at IUP. Our dedicated volunteers are on course as they chip away at their projects, improving collection care and accounting for many of the county treasures in possession of the HGSIC. Despite the year being more than half over, there is still a full slate of events and exhibits ready to populate the remainder of 2022.
Thank you to everyone who joined the Society for the member reception last month, it was a pleasant evening and attendees had the chance to speak with board members, as well as learn about the many exciting projects taking place at the HGSIC. On Friday August 12, Night at the Museum returns from 6pm to 8pm. This free event is open to the public and will feature more than twenty-five historic figures from Indiana County’s past coming to life.
The following week, the Society will host an opening reception for a display honoring Jim Nance. Please note that this event has been moved to Thursday August 18 at 6:30pm from its original August 4 date due to a scheduling conflict. Also, in light of the busy schedule August, Clark House tours will be taking a brief break for this month and will resume as usual in September. Looking ahead, another Ladies Tea is on the horizon, taking place September 10 from 2pm to 4pm. Tickets for that event go on sale this month and can be purchased online or in person at the HGSIC.
After a long wait and multiple setbacks, the Society’s camera system is now in place and fully operational, with forty-eight high resolution units now monitoring the grounds. This will help the Society view the surrounding property for vandalism, ensure collections are secure, and keep an eye on the bats who routinely trip the security alarm. MVS did a wonderful job installing the system and exceeded expectations, not to mention provided the most affordable option from the many quotes received. Cameras have been on the agenda for many years according to some former board members and volunteers, so it is encouraging to see this dream finally become a reality.
Our resident textile expert and board member, Katie Gaudreau, is using the summer months to give the collection some much needed attention. Last summer, all miscellaneous items were accounted for and placed into temporary boxes. This summer, each item is being extensively inventoried, photographed, and rehoused to permanent storage. On a similar note, Jeff Miller has completely reorganized much of the military artifact storage. All boxes are now clearly labeled and arranged by conflict. Also dealing with collections care, Makenna Berchin is working with Chuck Spence updating the Society’s loan inventory and verifying what is on display. Each artifact is getting a new photograph and updated location information. This will provide a smoother transition when exhibits are rotated and a better accounting of the Society’s massive collection. Finally, Mary Ann Wagner and Karen Wegener continue the Society’s gift shop renovation. Fixtures are now freshly painted, and the shape of the space is now taking form. It will be exciting to see the finished product once these ladies are complete.
This month we say goodbye to Katelyn McCormick after the completion of her summer internship at the Society. Katelyn has covered quite a range of tasks during her time at the museum and has managed to catalog a host of items, assist the library with research requests, and develop a vision for future exhibits on the museum floor. Hopefully, Katelyn will stop by to say hello during the semester or even volunteer if her schedule allows. The end of summer also signals the start of the semester and the return of IUP students, with the potential to collaborate with the history department on new and exciting projects.
As the year rolls on, the wedding dress display is now down, and a new exhibit highlighting the career of Jim Nance now occupies the gallery wall. Additionally, information on taverns and wagon stops will be up later this month. Plans are also in the works for a special exhibit, just in time for the holiday season. Everyone’s work is interconnected at the Society. Efforts in collections care and organization helps to fuel better exhibits, and increased programming makes people aware of the displays and drives up membership. Speaking of membership, a renewal mailing should have arrived just before the newsletter for all those who are behind on their dues. As the museum continues to grow, we need your support to stay on track. With your backing this small town museum can continue to grow and one day provide a truly professional museum experience to visitors who want to learn more about this county’s wonderful history.