The recent storage system installation at the Pope County Museum created some interesting statistics. In planning the system, we had to carefully examine the whole museum collection and how it would best fit into the new shelves. Over the years we have purchased archival boxes of different shapes to best hold dresses, uniforms and other acid sensitive objects. We have also worked hard to manage and protect the photograph collection with protective sleeves, albums and boxes. The new shelf system was ordered based on the box sizes we use most often.
One of the best things about the new storage system is that it came in under budget. However, because it is a grant funded project, the savings on one part of the project must be reassigned to other needs that fit the criteria of the grant proposal. Since only a small percentage of our objects and records were in proper protective enclosures, we ordered boxes. $10,000 worth of acid free boxes! And albums: 121 slip-covered albums. And protective sleeves for photographs and negatives: 180 pounds of sleeves! Even the delivery man commented, “Man, these boxes are heavy!”
The acid free boxes arrived almost a year ago and have mostly been assembled and put to use. The albums arrived next and will eventually hold the photo negatives from the Pope County Tribune, 1956 – 2003. It takes longer to put these together because the images are so interesting, they can be fully identified, and many of them fit into a single album. So far two albums have been filled to help us determine that we needed 121 albums and 9,400 polyethylene pages for negative storage (180 pounds according to Fed Ex!)
A huge project like this is possible because of dedicated staff members, hard-working volunteers, and “Legacy” funding. The Minnesota Clean Water, Land & Legacy Fund was created in 2008 by a statewide referendum. We all contribute to the fund through a small sales tax increase. The Pope County Historical Society has been fortunate to receive a number of these grants. We will continue to apply for funds to protect and improve access to our local history.