In 2019, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society was selected by 4Culture for a a grant project to support the development of a long-term collections care plan for the Historical Society’s collection of nearly 10,000 assets. The goal of creating a new plan, which will serve as a guide to our collection stewardship efforts and prioritizes ensuring the collection is both representative of the diverse histories in our service area and accessible to a wide range of audiences who would like to utilize it for research, education, and other goals consistent with our mission. We’re thrilled to announce that the new collections care plan has been finalized and approved!
The completion and approval of this plan represents the culmination of more than two years of collaboration by Historical Society staff and volunteers. Modeled on the American Alliance of Museum’s “Preservation Planning: Guidelines for Writing a Long-Range Plan,” our new plan breaks down priorities across collection types (archives, artifacts, historic library, and special collections) for each of nine action areas: Environment, Facilities & Containers, Security & Access, Housekeeping, Professional Outreach, Funding, Staff/Consultants/ & Training, Exhibitions, and Conservation Treatment to guarantee that we are utilizing the best disciplinary practices to maintain and share our collection. This plan will guide our efforts to conserve, store, and share invaluable artifacts like the letters of Doc Maynard, which were donated to the Historical Society by Maynard’s family in February 2020.
Have you ever wondered what it takes to preserve and care for a collection of historical artifacts? We’ll be sharing specific content from our new plan in a series of posts over the weeks ahead to provide you with greater insight into the importance of this work and how it shapes our efforts to care for our artifacts. Furthermore, we’ll be highlighting several objects from our collection, including the letter above, as part of this series so check back often updates over the next several weeks.
The Southwest Seattle Historical Society is grateful to 4Culture for their support of this project. 4Culture’s generosity underscores the importance of our efforts to actively preserve the history of the Duwamish Peninsula so it remains an indispensable resource for future generations.