published Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Group assessing Heritage Museum in McMinn County

From left, McMinn County Living Heritage Museum Director Ashley Rush and curator Lisa Chastain talk with Dr. Michael Trinkley and Debi Hacker of the Chicora Foundation before an inspection begins of the museum's archives and collections.
From left, McMinn County Living Heritage Museum Director Ashley Rush and curator Lisa Chastain talk with Dr. Michael Trinkley and Debi Hacker of the Chicora Foundation before an inspection begins of the museum's archives and collections.
Photo by Randall Higgins.
Follow us on Twitter for the latest breaking news

ATHENS, Tenn. — The McMinn County Living Heritage Museum invited preservation experts to take a look at how the museum cares for its historic collections, including archived documents.

Representatives from the Chicora Foundation Inc. expect to have a report of recommendations and commendations in about two months. Chicora, a nonprofit organization, is based in South Carolina and does assessments for museums, libraries and other agencies in the Southeast.

Dr. Michael Trinkley, Chicora director, and Debi Hacker, education specialist for the foundation, were here late last week to examine the museum collections.

Museum Director Ashley Rush said the assessment visit was funded through a federal grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

“The nation’s largest museums and libraries have a lot of resources,” Trinkley said. “But for smaller museums, there’s not a lot of help out there.”

And it’s those regional museums that hold much of the nation’s history, Trinkley said.

But regional museums can become distracted from their education and community missions, Hacker said.

“We have to remember we are not the repository of last resort when clearing out the attic,” she said.

Before the preservationists arrived, they already were aware of one of the museum’s features — the website. They liked it.

“The writing is focused and clear,” Hacker said.

Museum curator Lisa Chastain said her long-term goal is more public access to the archived, historical documents. Those papers are filed away for safekeeping. Whenever someone doing historical or genealogical research needs access, a volunteer or museum staff person must go and help the person find the material, she said.

The Chicora Foundation’s report may be the first step toward that goal, she said. But that goal is still years away.

Contact Randall Higgins at rhiggins@timesfreepress.com or 423-314-1029.

about Randall Higgins...

Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
please login to post a comment

Other National Articles

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »

advertisement
advertisement
400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.