This month, the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum (TCPM) launched a large-scale inventory project to digitize documents and catalog their entire collection of objects. The Object Reconciliation and Responsibility Project will improve record keeping and educate museum staff on the best care and storage of objects.
It will also meet the relocation needs of thousands of TCPM artifacts from the Latimer Quilt and Textile Center to a location as yet undetermined. The project will take several years to complete and funding is sought from various sources of income, including the project’s first funder: Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation.
“The Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation is grateful to have been invited by the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum to support the Object Reconciliation and Accountability project with a community grant,” said Brendan Butler, vice president, responsible for community development for the Oregon. “Building thriving communities starts with remembering and telling the stories of those who came before and most importantly, all voices are included. We can’t wait to see this project grow.
TCPM’s Director of Collections / Deputy Director Peyton Tracy, who is already busy digitizing the documents, is spearheading the project.
“We don’t know exactly how many items are in storage – that’s part of the problem – but we believe there are over 55,000,” Tracy said. “It’s a huge business. “
The project consists of three phases: the digitization of the records of the collections, the inventory of all storage spaces and the resolution of the discrepancies between the records and the objects / artefacts at risk.
Tracy added, “This project is necessary because at the moment we don’t have a comprehensive understanding of what we have in our funds and the stories they can tell about the history of our community and our region. Our collection is exceptionally important for a museum of our size, in part thanks to the dedicated support of our community. We want to be able to preserve it at the highest level and use it to share our collective history with the public.
Although museum staff work diligently, help is still needed to index and inventory the collections. Anyone interested in volunteering for the current phase, data entry, is encouraged to contact by email at [email protected] or by phone at 503-842-4553.
“At the end of this project, our collection will be more accessible than ever. We will be able to access our collections more easily and make better use of them in exhibitions, programs and research, ”said Tracy. “All the possibilities that come with this endeavor are so fascinating and exciting that the hard work is worth it! “
About the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum
Founded in 1935 by the pioneers of Tillamook Oregon, the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum offers 19 exhibition areas that focus on the history of the North Oregon coast. The museum’s mission is to preserve and interpret the cultural heritage of the North Oregon Coast and to foster appreciation and respect for the environment of the North Oregon Coast. The current collection includes 55,000 objects and 20,000 photographs ranging from prehistoric specimens to modern times.
The Tillamook County Pioneer Museum is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The public can use the research library by appointment only.