Moss Cottage before it was restored and moved to the Sooke Region Museum property in 1977.

Moss Cottage before it was restored and moved to the Sooke Region Museum property in 1977.

Sooke museum reorganizes archive space

All archival records must be handled with care and the proper procedures

Montana Stanley | Contributed

Summer has seen a flood of activity at the Sooke Region Museum.

Summer students have been hired and volunteers recruited for the season and have been working hard on collections and exhibits-related projects.

One major project the museum is undertaking is an inventory and reorganization of the archives space.

Students will learn useful skills relating to the best practices of conservation in a museum, such as the handling and storage of archives, how to follow an archival inventory, and how to collaborate with other team members.

They will also learn about the history of the Sooke region through images, which can be really effective in retaining historical information.

All archival records must be handled with care and the proper procedures must be followed to ensure these precious visual time capsules maintain their quality.

All material is handled with clean, dry hands or with the use of white cotton or nitrile gloves.

Material can retain blemishes and fingerprints so we are careful to handle photographs by their corners, and handle them as few times possible.

Material should always return to its home, an archival folder or box, once it has been handled. This protects materials from light damage and airborne pollutants.

Materials are stored in a temperature-controlled environment to prevent condensation from forming and causing water damage, cracking or splitting. The museum consults the Canadian Conservation’s Institute’s guidelines for the preservation of materials.

Today, we are playing in the Photographs space, scanning and inputting data for photos into the computer. The end goal for the photographs is to put them on a publicly accessible online database. More than 6,000 photographs will be scanned as high quality image files and linked to our website.

A couple of neat photos we discovered in doing this project were:

• SRHS#1900. A pet squirrel, trained by Harry Vickers, to look as if it were knitting, circa 1940.

• SRHS#1972. Moss Cottage before it was restored and moved to the museum, 1977.

If you are interested in working at the Sooke Region Museum as a summer student or volunteer, contact the museum at 250-642-6351 or email info@sookeregionmuseum.com.

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Montana Stanley is the collections and exhibits manager at Sooke Region Museum.