Thursday, September 11, 2008

Curatorial volunteers make great strides

I stopped by Mount Rainier's curatorial facility yesterday morning, to drop off Volunteer Passes to Shayna Atwood and Mary Heskett in reward for more than 500 hours apiece of volunteer service this summer. What I thought would be a quick visit turned into an hour-long tour of the amazing things our curatorial volunteers have accomplished in the past few months!

Brooke Childrey walked me through some of the statistics:

  • A room full of specimens was moved to temporary storage, in preparation for reorganization of the collection. Each specimen had to be individually removed and packed; then after the heavy specimen cabinets had been moved to the garage of the housing unit next door, the speciments themselves were unwrapped and replaced in their storage drawers. The process will need to be repeated this fall, so if anyone is interested in helping, they should contact Brooke!
  • Volunteers catalogued 54,000 documents, including 19,000 photographs, and processed an additional 17,000 in preparation for cataloguing! These documents will soon be available for park staff and researchers to access via a searchable database.
  • 34,600 environmental compliance records were sorted, processed, and carefully stored.
  • 30,000 flood documents were organized and 14,000 electronic files printed and stored.

It's an amazing accomplishment, and the volunteers are understandably proud of their work! Contributors include Shanya Atwood, pictured to the right with the racks of compliance records she organized; Mary Beth Heskett; Connie Wilkerson; Renata Chew; Paige Bartley; Rose Evans; Marcy Partridge; and Jim and Carol Miltimore. Much more work remains to be done, sorting and organizing the park's historical records and museum collections, so if this work interests you, contact Brooke Childrey at park extension 2364 and she'll put you to work!
Update (9/23/08): Brooke Childrey has been named the Employee of the Year by the park's division of Natural and Cultural Resources. Congratulations, Brooke!

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