There’s still plenty of work to do this year at Heritage Park Museum, which will likely be closed to the public for the summer.
Summer is the prime season for the museum, when it typically receives federal funding to hire a handful of students to assist curator Anna Glass in planning events, hosting tours and managing the museum’s collection. Until pandemic restrictions are lifted, the museum won’t host major events or tours, and it may receive less funding than usual to hire summer students.
But Glass told The Terrace Standard that being closed to the public during prime season this year means she can put the summer students to work on some much-needed housekeeping.
“We’re kind of using it as, I guess, a blessing, this year, because we are able to work on a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff,” she said. “We are able to focus on a lot of things that we usually don’t necessarily get time for when we are busy during the open season.”
One such task involves cataloging thousands of artifacts in the museum’s collection and entering the data into a digital database. This would allow museum staff to physically locate specific artifacts efficiently, Glass said, as well as helping them form broader understandings of the collection.
“[It] gives us a sense of what we have up here,” she said. “We have over 10,000 artifacts, but what exactly we have, it’s hard to put a description on it.”
Once a full inventory is complete and entered into the digital database, that will also allow the museum to host online exhibits.
Glass said that is exciting because it will allow folks to participate in the museum virtually, both during the pandemic situation, and generally during winter seasons when the museum typically doesn’t host exhibits.
Another project the museum will work on this summer is creating educational kits of museum materials that could be loaned out to schools.
“[We’ll] collaborate with local teachers and see what aspects of their curriculum that we could help with,” Glass said, adding she hopes to create kits that could be sent to seniors as well.
The museum has created its own set of COVID-19 policies and to keep any essential visitors safe. Glass said the museum will be closed to the general public until the government eases COVID-19 restrictions and life begins returning to normal.