We Have Shelves!

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You may recall us talking about a new shelving project for the archives collection. Sorry if it feels like we’re starting to sound like a broken record – it’s just sooooo exciting to finally have a TON of space to put things!

I know, us museum people get excited about the weirdest things…

But seriously. Here are the “Before” photos.

A random assortment of shelves, crowded to overflowing with the newspapers, photographs, maps, and documents of the archives collection, with absolutely no room to put the fairly steady stream of new materials we receive. Archival materials sharing shelf space with empty boxes, storage containers, and other supplies. Fully catalogued materials sitting alongside stuff in various stages of processing, alongside stuff that we haven’t been able to get to at all – and let me tell you, it’s hard to keep track of what still needs to be dealt with when your filing system is necessarily so…random.

So, a week and a half ago, we moved all those maps and photos and documents – hundreds of books and boxes, thousands of pounds of stuff, to say nothing of the shelving units themselves – out of the storage area. Then some great guys from Jonathan Morgan Company came in and put in a whole new high-density mobile shelving system. And, yesterday and today, we moved the whole lot back in!

Below are some photos of the work we completed just before 1:00 this afternoon. Those are some of the boxes of documents on the top left, with lots of room to add to them as things continue to come in. In the top centre photo you can see the old issues of the Creston Review, all the way back to 1909; on the other side of that double-sided unit are the Creston Valley Advance newspapers with room to accommodate a few decades more (we’re still collecting that one!). And on the top right is the view from the exit door – the same view as the top-right photo above. You can see just how much more space we’re using for shelves! Because it’s a mobile system, on tracks, we just need enough free space to open up a single aisle to get at the boxes we need, when we need them.

We have a whole bank of shelves, immediately opposite the entry door, where we’ve put all the stuff that still needs some cataloguing/organizing/processing work (bottom left, above). I’m a little depressed at how much of that space has been filled up, because that represents a lot of work we still need to do (thank heavens for volunteers who do so much to help with that)! We also have a section of shelving specifically for supplies, and another one for the records of the Historical Society – no more mixing things up!

But the most exciting part of this week’s work is in the bottom centre photo above. I don’t know if you can read that label, but it says “Photos Box 73.” We had enough room on our old shelves for 72 boxes of photographs, so Box 73 has been hanging out in the office for almost a year. As soon as we finished loading in the photos, Starla ran out to the office to get Box 73 – it’s the first “new” stuff we’ve been able to put in that storage space in months (if you’ve never worked in an overcrowded archives, you might not appreciate just how good it feels to be able to do that!). And look how much space we have to accommodate more photos (bottom right) – enough for 116 boxes, or approximately 34,800 photographs!

In short, we now have enough space to accommodate the needs of the ever-growing archives collection for a few decades.

Thanks to Columbia Basin Trust and Canada Cultural Spaces Fund, who provided a significant amount of the funding necessary, and to our generous local donors whose contributions enabled us to access those grants:

  • Maury and Irene Murphy
  • Creston Rotary Club
  • Estate of Betty Hess
  • Helen Lankhaar
  • Len & Jacquie Ringstad
  • Anonymous
  • Creston Lions Club
  • Jake Philipsen
  • Pat Lewin
  • Honor Neve
  • Dr. Alex Speers
  • Allen McLaren

Big, big thanks to everyone who helped with the move. That was a lot of work – Bob, Starla, John, Paul, David, Todd, Dale, Helen, Jake, Luke…I hope I haven’t missed anyone. And Bob, we really appreciate the donuts!

This project has been made possible in part by the Government of

Ce projet a été rendu possible en partie grâce au gouvernement du