Many exciting projects are underway with the collections at the Museum of the West, the Loyd Files Research Library and Archives, and Cross Orchards. Erin Johnson Schmitz, Curator of Collections and Archives, has been working to get our collections ready for reaccreditation, as well as to make them more available to researchers and the public.
The Museum of the West houses artifacts that help to tell the story of Grand Junction and Mesa County. It is also home to archaeological repositories for the Bureau of Land Management, the State of Colorado, and the United States Forest Service, which Erin manages. Much of the collections at MWC are in need of cataloging and photographing. This will help us make information more easily available to researchers and the public. We will also be working on rehousing the artifacts to ensure their proper preservation.
In the Loyd Files Research Library and Archives, Erin has been working with a dedicated team of volunteers to process over ten years of back-log. They have finished with cataloging the books in the library and updating the people and subject files to make them easier to search for those who utilize the library. We are currently working on cataloging our photograph and manuscript collections using PastPerfect. We will also use the information to creating finding aids. This will help us to know what we have and to be better able to locate information for patrons and researchers.
Erin has also been working with Taylor Barnett, Cross Orchards Facilitator, on processing the Community Use artifacts currently stored in the barn attic. There are over 30 shelving units of collections currently stored in the barn ranging from household items to large farm equipment. The items will be brought to the Swanson building, where they will be cleaned and assessed. Once the museum has a good inventory, many of these items will be used during educational programs such as kids camp to allow for “hands on” history.
In order to continue with the work being done on the collections, the Loyd Files Research Library and Archives will be changing its hours to Tuesday through Thursday 10 am to 4 pm. Mondays and Fridays will be by appointment only. Please contact Erin Johnson Schmitz, Curator of Collections and Archives, to schedule research appointments or if you are interested in volunteering.