At The Durham Museum, exhibits are only part of our story. There is a lot of work done behind the scenes to research the items that are on display and keep the objects in our collection in good shape. Our Collection Manager, Becky Putzer, oversees the long-term preservation of our collections and often comes across interesting objects that are not on public display. Every few weeks Becky will post about some of these artifacts and their stories, providing insight into how the museum preserves them for future generations. We hope you will find a new appreciation for the museum as a place to experience engaging exhibits and events, but also as a repository of some pretty neat artifacts that help researchers, interns and the public learn about history!
Spotlight on the Collection
This month Becky is stepping out of the spotlight to share the work of Kristen Rowley, our Collection Technician, which features one very “sweet” artifact. Read below as Kristen shares about what she found out about this item. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ In preparation for our last Museum Insider tour, the various parts of a Whirla Whip machine in our collection were reunited after several… Continue Reading Whip It
During our IMLS grant work, our Collection Facilitator, Haiden Nelson, came across a great collection of paper dolls. Read below as Haiden shares about what she found out about these items. ____________________________________________________________ Paper dolls have been produced as children’s toys since the early 19th century. Some paper dolls were printed as advertisements, enticing children or their parents to buy products.… Continue Reading Paper Dolls
In July of 1910 the Stockmen’s Convention was held in Alliance, Nebraska and if these photos are any indication, they had a great time! This Bostwick-Frohardt folio features men and women riding, roping and racing on horseback. I enjoy the lively action captured in the photos! They freeze a moment in time when this small town (population 3,105 in 1910)… Continue Reading Cowgirls, Sheepskin Chaps and a Grand Celebration!
Good afternoon! Recently during our IMLS grant work, our Collection Facilitator, Haiden, came across a great collection of documents from Omaha’s early history. Their pristine condition made it easy to handle them and read their contents; this sparked Haiden’s curiosity and she shares a little about what she found below. _____________________________________________________ How did a metal box full of documents from… Continue Reading Always Check the Safe!
One of our interns, Ryan Diego, worked extensively with a photo collection that was marked “Old Time Photographs”. It was wonderful to have someone dedicated to capturing these images digitally. In addition, he continued the work of scanning and metadata-ing Bostwick prints to create a more complete portfolio of Bostwick’s work on our website. Both types of images can be… Continue Reading Old Time Photographs
This year was an exciting one for a certain painting in our gallery. Early Council Bluffs by painter and pioneer George Simons was featured in the book Grant Wood: American Gothic and Other Fables compiled by Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. This book was released to supplement the exhibition of the same name. One of Grant Wood’s inspirations… Continue Reading An Iowa artist connection that leads to New York
Hello. This week I am featuring work done by one of our Collection Facilitators, Haiden Nelson. In our Photo Archive we have a large collection of glass plate negatives (mainly in the Bostwick-Frohardt collection) that have survived all this time. However, some didn’t make it through in one piece, but lucky for them Haiden has lovingly taken them into… Continue Reading Putting It All Together: The Assembly and Digitization of Glass Plate Negatives
This week I am featuring a gem I stumbled upon in our archival collection. It is a newspaper called The Star and later The West Omaha Star which ran from 1933-1940 and featured news of the Walnut Hill Neighborhood area. Jimmie McGaffin tells his story in the final editorial as he suspends his paper: You may note that he says… Continue Reading The Little Newspaper You Never Knew About
We just said goodbye to another intern class here at the museum, but the reach of their work goes beyond their time in the building! Intern Ryan Hanrahan worked with letters written during World War II. He scanned, cataloged, and transcribed them for future use. They are also now stored nicely in acid free folders in an acid free box… Continue Reading Intern Feature
Hello. Today’s topic: Place your bets! We very recently received a donation of three notebooks in a metal safe box. Pretty normal-looking stuff, but the story and content is the fun part! These notebooks contain betting figures, names, and profits carefully managed by Eddy Barrick. Barrick and a business partner Sam Ziegman controlled gambling in the area and eventually moved… Continue Reading Place your bets!