Each year, 12,000+ people visit the Westerville History Museum to delve into its archival collections and discover the stories that strengthen their understanding of - and connection to - their ancestors, Westerville, and the history of the United States.
Most objects in the museum's collections are currently stored in acid-free boxes and in a dedicated, climate controlled storage area to ensure longevity. But approximately 125 objects have proven challenging due to their irregular shape and size. These include historic newspapers, photographs, posters, clothing, signs from local businesses, and paintings by local artists or depicting local architecture.
"Investing now in the proper care and preservation of these collections will make continued learning and discovery possible for future generations," says Nina T, Museum Manager.
Thankfully, a $5,589 grant recently awarded by The Columbus Foundation's J. Terry Hayman Fund will allow the museum to build high-quality storage units that adhere to archival guidelines* to protect these collections. This will minimize risk of damage to objects from humidity, water, light exposure, extreme temperatures, and physical pressure.
"One of our strategic areas of focus has been to optimize the library's assets by securing additional funding sources and maintaining the integrity of our building and collections to effectively meet the needs of patrons over time. This grant helps us do just that," says Erin Francoeur, Executive Director.
*Archival guidelines provided by the American Institute for Conservation (AIC) and the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC)
Archival Storage Installed in April 2023
The archival storage was custom built by library staff members Stacey and Ben to minimize the risk of damage to this unique collection and installed in April 2023.
About the J. Terry Hayman Fund
According to The Columbus Foundation's 2019 annual report, John T. “Terry” Hayman established this fund through his estate plan to support programs and projects relating to the preservation and enhancement of Westerville’s history. Terry was a lifelong resident of Westerville and a graduate of Westerville South High School. He passed away in 2019.