Mower County Historical Society enters world of competition

Published 8:01 am Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Mower County Historical Society (MCHS) will join a select number of institutions in a conservation incentive competition as part of the national Connect to Collect program.

The Connect to Collect program, held June 16 and 17 at the Figge Art Center in Davenport, Iowa, included a series of workshops hosted by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services and the not-for-profit Heritage Preservation organization.

Curator Susan Doocy represented MCHS at the workshops, where she presented the society’s future plans for advice and discussion.

“Basically, we where there to brainstorm new ideas on how to reach and educate the public on how we care for things. We want to make people more aware of what’s involved in taking care of the collections and setting up the displays,” said Doocy. “It’s a lot more than just putting things in a box and storing them.”

As an incentive to encourage follow through with the workshops, a $3,750 grant will be awarded in the spring of 2011 to whoever best implements the event’s discussions. The award grant is funded by the Bay and Paul Foundations and the Peck Stacpoole Foundation.

The competition will tie in with the society’s plans to remodel the Pioneer Cabin, create an inventory of their collections and design new displays, said Doocy.

“The incentive will definitely help us better serve the community and what it is interested in. It will also help us let people know that we can show them how to better display and care for their heirlooms. Also, it will help us make people aware that in cases of disasters, like tornadoes or floods, there is a way to save and restore their heirlooms rather than having to throw them away,” Doocy said.