Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Coming together

As the (fiscal) year comes to a close, we're seeing a flurry of activity around the museum. The big news today? We have a sign and a docent station.

The sign went up yesterday afternoon. The sign guys have been putting up all kinds of signs around the building, but this is one of the bigger ones. They laid it all out on the gallery first to make a template.
MCE Sign

It really helps to identify the museum. No more confusion about that big gallery in Dean Hall!
MCE Sign

And just this morning we walked into the gallery and discovered that our docent/greeter station had been delivered. Modeled on a version in a catalog and constructed by the fine folks at CWU facilities, it looks great, and is versatile.
MCE Docent Station

That's Angie behind the desk. Angie's here for the summer, and hopefully beyond, working on programming for this fall and the next school year or two. She and I had great fun playing with the new docent station. It's in two parts, so there are some options. Angie and I like this set up better; it certainly gives the person behind the desk more room to move around.
MCE Docent Station

Everything is coming together now. We'll really be ready for our first exhibit this fall.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Organizing History

This museum has been around, in one form or another, for 40 years. And we have the files to prove it. Unfortunately, those files have been in various offices and organized in various ways for 40 years, too. So, pretty much, it's a big mess.

Organizing History

I've undertaken to (re)organize the files, using the office floor and a spread sheet style organizational system. It goes by decade across the top and topic along the side. The files out represent just a fraction of the total files.

I have recycled So Much Paper so far. Lots of old, irrelevant articles. Lots of multiple copies of memos or forms long out of use. Lots of paper taking up space which doesn't need to be here. So out it goes, keeping only what's relevant. Once this all gets organized by decade and topic, I have a stack of brand spankin' new file folders to put it in and put it away in an organized manner. ... and the stacks of files on the office floor will be gone!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Finals week!

It's finals week here at CWU and a lot of things are getting wrapped up around the museum.

The gallery lights have been replaced!

The security is being installed!

The collections are all unpacked!

The docent station (for the lobby) is almost finished!

There's a couch in the museum office (for visitors!)!

Walls and cases are being built!

We've signed the contract on our opening exhibit!

The corner display case has been built out so we can display things in it!

It's been a pretty productive week or two, I'd say. But with all of these awesome developments come some other final things. Four of the interns who've worked with me all year are graduating and moving on to bigger and better things. Thank you, Kim, Launi, Rachel, and Shena, for all of your excellent work with the collection this year. Best of luck in all of your future endeavors.

Monday, June 1, 2009

A Day in the Life

I've always said that one of the things I love about my job is the variety of things I get to do. Today was no exception.
Note the enormous crate, we'll get to it later.

I got into work today and things started out pretty much in the usual way.
- I check my email and catch up on things from the weekend.
- I speak with the museum director about some grants that we've received and what sort of projects I have planned for the summer.
- My first intern comes in; I ask her to work on an inventory of the chipped stone (no small task).
- I begin to work on a short write up of collections work for the first annual report of the MCE.
- My first intern leaves, my afternoon interns arrive.
- I put them to work on rearranging the shelves and moving all of the shields and swords into the shelves(which take up a lot of space - this task condenses them significantly).
- A work study student arrives; she resumes a project researching the memoirs of our first donor for clues about the collections object.
- A biological anthropologist, for whom we've been holding a crate, comes down to say he's going to open the crate and take its contents up to his lab.
- The contents? A DNA sequencer. My nerdy delight is stifled somewhat when it doesn't look like an old school Star Trek computer with blinking lights and lots of knobs and buttons. It's actually a fairly nondescript tan metal cube.
- I help unload the sequencer and take the debris from the crate out to the dumpster.
- I continue working on and finish the draft of the collections work write up. I email this to the director.
- I work on intern evaluations.
- The afternoon interns finish up for the day and report on where they left off.
- Work study student wraps up for the day and heads home.
- I assemble the Shop Vac which arrived a couple of weeks ago and
- I clean up the small bits of wood and styrofoam left behind from the crate and packing materials.
- I decide that today passed so quickly that I should go blog about it.
- And I do all this while dressed nicely enough to go to a reception at the President's house half an hour from now.

And somewhere in there I found time to go get my espresso drink of choice (double 20 oz iced white chocolate americano with cream (and to think that only two years ago I had never had coffee! This is what moving to Seattle does to a midwesterner.)) and to eat lunch.

So! All in all, a pretty eventful day!

PS: Why is it that my post titles always make me think of songs?