Collections Building Renovation and Artifact Storage Shelving, Phase 3

Standing in front of building looking east.

The grant completee Phase 3 (of 4) to convert their Collections Building into an artifact storage facility by installing museum-grade, compact storage shelving (static and mobile).

Since 2008, MCHS has participated in two national standards programs -- AASLH's StEPs, and AAM's MAP assessment. Both of these evaluations led the MCHS Board to seek new ways to insure the organization's growth and sustainability. In support of this conclusion, MCHS contracted an interpretive plan in 2012 which identified the need for a dedicated storage facility.

MCHS had approximately 35,000 square feet of building space on site, with only about 2,000 square feet dedicated to storage in the Administration, Headquarters, and Church Buildings. This project will give MCHS another 2,500 square feet of floor space solely dedicated to housing their 3D collection items. Right now, adding object storage space and opening the three exhibit buildings that are being used as temporary object storage to allow visitor access is one of the board's highest priorities. It will also allow MCHS to meet the professional standards expected of museums with regards to the housing of historical artifacts and will enables staff to better organize and care for the collection. The new storage space will allow for object rotation and make it easier for staff to identify and evaluate at-risk artifacts.

Although relocation of artifacts (and rehousing them if necessary) is on-going, staff and volunteers are very impressed with how much easier it is to find items for research, exhibits, and presentations. Several very fragile items have been identified and rehoused. The collection as a whole is also benefiting from the new storage environment with its relatively stable temperature and humidity levels. The Board of Directors designated several thousand dollars from the Memorial Fund to be used to purchase some of the needed rehousing supplies and a vacuum with variable suction and HEPA filter to aid in caring for the recently relocated textiles. All of this shows how the Mower County Historical Society is already providing better collections care with the hopes that the objects in its collection will continue to survive for many decades to come.
Recipient: Mower County Historical Society
Funding Amount: $47,570

The Minnesota Historical and Cultural Grants Program has been made possible by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on November 4, 2008. Administered by the Minnesota Historical Society.