“Caring for Collections” Workshops to Begin March 26

EMHR executive director Cain Chamberlin (standing, back, center) addresses attendees of a previous program at the Susquehanna County Library.

The Endless Mountains Heritage Region (EMHR) will conduct a series of workshops in Susquehanna County to provide participants with the information they need to properly preserve, protect and manage artifacts and objects for museums. The sessions will be held at the Susquehanna County Library in Montrose on Saturdays, March 26, April 9 and April 23 from 10 am to 3 pm.

We know so many of our museums and historical societies across the region operate on volunteer support,” said EMHR executive director Cain Chamberlin. “While these volunteers are dedicated to helping their communities, many or most of them are not formally trained in the preservation of historical artifacts and documents.”

Caring for Collections – the Basics of Managing Museum Objects and Archives” is a collaboration between the EMHR and Brian Lione of Lione Heritage Consulting, LLC, a firm that specializes in management and policy solutions for cultural heritage issues worldwide.

Mr. Lione is a very active and passionate member of the EMHR Board of Directors and also serves on other heritage protection and preservation boards,” Chamberlin related. “He is an incredible asset to the EMHR, and we appreciate him offering to bring his knowledge and expertise to our many heritage partners through these workshops.”

The need for expanded capacity building efforts in rural heritage organizations is well documented on the national scale by the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences and other like-minded organizations,” said Lione. “Based on those broader assessments, I leveraged my position as an EMHR board member to learn more about their needs. Through discussions I’ve confirmed that many of them would appreciate additional training, supplies and materials, and networking opportunities to support their work.”

The course is designed to help staff and volunteers who work at historical societies, historical sites, and museums better understand what tools they need to keep priceless artifacts, documents, and relics safe and viable. Each participant will receive guidance, training materials and hands-on instruction. Those who complete all three workshops will also receive a “starter kit” of archival materials to apply their new-found skills.

On March 26, Lione will begin with general museum management and risk assessment and lessons on handling and packaging items and keeping collections. The April 9 session will expand upon those lessons with additional tips for storage. On April 23, participants will learn about documentation and cataloging items.

Objects, artifacts, and archives are tangible parts of our past that help not only to tell the story of who we are, but to share that story with others,” Lione stated. “As industry, community, and our day-to-day life changes over time, it’s important to keep these stories alive as a way to to honor those who came before and celebrate our way of life.”

The costs for all three workshops is $25 per person, and organizations are welcome to send different representatives to each class. Registration for individual workshops are available at $10 per person. Lunch is included with each session.

The “Caring for Collections – the Basics of Managing Museum Objects and Archives” workshops have been funded in part by the Susquehanna County Marcellus Legacy Fund Grant, the Brooklyn Historical Society, and the Dennis Farm Charitable Land Trust.

The EMHR hopes the success of this program will lead to its duplicate in the other three counties the agency serves – Bradford, Sullivan and Wyoming. This workshop series is open to anyone, but registration is required, and space is limited. Interested readers can register online at emheritage.org/events, by phone at 570-265-1528, or by emailing cchamberlin@emheritage.org.


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