The Advisory Board of the River Counties Community Foundation has awarded a grant to Middlesex County Museum and Historical Society in the amount of $15,000.00. Lincoln Boykin,
Director of the River Counties Community Foundation, notified the museum at the end of May.
“This grant will be used to support a new HVAC/Dehumidifier and Upgrades for the main museum building,” says museum director Holly Horton. The current one is more than 20 years old.”
“Being that summers on the middle peninsula are hot and humid, it is important that this issue be rectified. We have been running fans and small dehumidifier units, but they are not meeting the long-term problem. Mold is a devastating problem in museums and one that we are in a constant battle to keep at bay,” says Horton. “This grant will be a great help to the future of our collection.”
The Middlesex County Museum and Historical Society maintains over three thousand items in the collection and most are acquired through the general public. New items are brought into the collection in a number of ways: donation, purchase with named funds, short-term loan and long-term loan. Printed materials (books, journals, newspapers, articles) organizational records, personal papers, family history materials, sheet music, broadsides,
and maps, and photographs. Personal objects such as clothing, jewelry, textiles, instruments and furniture. Each of these items are reviewed before acceptance to determine that they are appropriate for our museum. Yet it is expensive to give them the specialized care that they require for optimal preservation, whether they are on exhibit display or in acidic-free, climate-controlled storage.
Dust, light and humidity can be dangerous to culturally historical objects as they age into the future. Improper care can have negative effects on their preservation. The Smithsonian Institution states, “Long term artifact preservation and storage is…important in order to ensure that…artifacts can remain a tangible, visible part of history for years to come… to be kept for the benefit of future generations.”
“This grant from the River Counties Community Foundation will help to maintain the cultural vibrancy of what the museum hosts under our roof and allow us to have a greater impact on the community at large,” says Horton.
The Middlesex County Museum and Historical Society is devoted to fostering the procurement, care, study, and display of objects that are of lasting interest and value to the history and culture of Middlesex County. In addition, the Museum strives to enhance and further the education of members of the community of their history and heritage.
The museum showcases the personal lives of the people that lived here. Where they lived, how they dressed, what they did in their free time. It is focused on the social lives and interactions of past residents. Through that lens, multiple aspects of life in Middlesex, both on the water and on the land are looked at: At home, work, and leisure.
Horton continues, “As a cultural institution, our museum enhances people’s lives and creates a special experience outside of the normal realm of boating, swimming, waterskiing, picnicking and fishing that a lot of county visitors encounter when visiting Middlesex.”