Kay-Nah-Chi-Wah-Nung is home to over 16,000 objects, belongings, and artifacts dating back to several thousand years ago. Many of these items can be seen throughout our Interpretive Galleries, and replicas of many of these artifacts are used in our Educational Kits.
Update from the Collections Room – Tasha, Museum Technician & Natalie, Museum Intern
The collections department at Kay-Nah-Chi-Wah-Nung Historical Centre has had a busy year! Now first, when I say ‘collections’ I don’t mean that we want your money (although let’s be real, donations are always welcomed). What I’m referring to is the behind-the-scenes action – artifact storage, artifact photography, research, and exhibit planning. Many of you have seen the artifacts that are included within our permanent displays, but did you know that we have over 15,000 more items? Protecting, preserving, and presenting these objects is one of our key mandates here at the Mounds.
Our Museum Technician, Tasha, has been working since 2018 to fully document our collection of objects, ranging from 3000-year-old debitage (i.e. stone debris left over from making stone tools) to beautiful beaded objects created by RRFN community members. In order to make the collection searchable, Tasha created a custom database to digitally record every single piece of information about every single object – descriptions, references, locations, and photographs. She is currently in the process of filling out that database (11,000 objects and counting).
In 2018 we applied for and received funding from the Museum Assistance Program (Canadian Department of Canadian Heritage) to complete ‘soft reno’s’ on our collection and collections spaces. Part of this funding allowed us to bring in a Museum Assistant to focus specifically on the planned renovations. Natalie has been a lovely addition to our team and has been very busy over the last several months.
Thanks to our recently installed projection equipment, our old conference room was able to be converted back into the collections room. First, both the old and new collections rooms were stripped and deep cleaned. We installed heavy-duty shelving to ensure everything within the collection was safely and securely raised off of the floor. Additional shelving units were installed to create both workshop and temporary exhibit areas, and all objects within the collection were re-packaged.
Repackaging ranged from simple transfers from paper bags, to sturdier polyethylene bags, to the crafting of customized coroplast boxes with supports to made to fit. As you can imagine, Natalie became an expert box-maker and shelf-builder during this time.
A more recent phase of the renovations included moving what was previously a conference television into a new position to provide a convertible conservation education area for interested visitors. After installation was complete we painted the entire back wall in chalkboard paint in order to provide an exhibit planning space (and to cut down on our paper use).
Our collections crew will continue to provide us (and you!) with updates as they near the completion of this project. Stay tuned!