Friday, August 8, 2008

Summer Vacation

Adventures in Collection Management will be quiet for the next couple of weeks as I go embark upon some vacation adventures.

I've spent today getting things in order: Cleaning up the work room, picking up and vacuuming the collections rooms, returning my library books. I've spent some time during this past week reading up on Columbia River Basketry and am now much more informed on the subject than I used to be. Reading about how time consuming basket making is and how vital baskets were to life in eastern Washington gave me an entirely new appreciation of the many baskets in our collection. The book linked above, Mary Dodds Schlick's Columbia River Basketry: Gift of the Ancestors, Gift of the Earth is an engaging read, and accessible. I would recommend it to any looking for an introduction to the baskets of this region.

See you at the end of the month!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Quiet Summer

August! Already!

Summer is a time for getting things done. We've put in a lot of time getting a website ready. The text is written, the photos are burned to cd, the cd has been handed off to our web guru. If all goes according to plan, the museum should have its first official public-facing web presence by the end of September. It's not going to be anything groundbreaking, not at first, but it is exciting for us to take these steps. I am absolutely, positively going to give you a heads up when the website is up.

Eastside Cascades/Interior Salish Basket

See that basket? It's one of two baskets chosen to be a part of the website header. This basket represents the kind of baskets used on the east side of the Cascades and by Interior Salish speaking people. This kind of basket was often used for picking huckleberries or root gathering. We chose baskets to be part of the header because baskets are not only beautiful objects, but also speak to the mission of the museum. Baskets were usually constructed from natural local materials for the purpose of gathering and storing natural materials. For a museum focused on the complex interaction between people and the environment, baskets of this type can tell many stories.

This basket will also, likely, be the first object profiled on the website as a "Highlight of the Collection." But first I need to do more research on it, so I can better tell its story.