Moving a museum collection isn’t like moving a house full of things. According to the average 3 bedroom household requires an average of 75 to 90 boxes. Lindsay Ault, Haney’s Registrar of Collections packed the first room - the rolling shelving room. Lindsay filled 180 boxes, double the maximum needed to move the average home.

This is the collection’s second move in 28 years. I was there for the first and the artefact and archival collections have grown. In 1990 there were 15,900 items accessioned. Not all were in storage. In 2018 there are 49,000 items. Even though the move is shorter this time, just as much care is taken packing the artefacts. So far only one item has been broken – an already cracked artefact. Not bad.

To date the collection has been packed except for the photo room. For most Tuesdays in June and July a museum work party was organized supplemented by volunteers. The volunteers included board members Ian Tait and Garry Landers, and Leona and Kerry Orchard, Pat Mills, Terry Buker and his daughter Jodi,  Tom Waller, Pat McCloskey, Otto Engers, Lee Fraser and Bryan Kassa. It is a casual group. Sometimes Terry has a slow pitch game, Pat has a wedding to attend, or Garry’s kids come for a visit and the volunteers bail. They all have valid excuses. It is summer! I’m sure sometimes staff members wish they could bail too.

Staff and key archives volunteers direct the movers.

“This one is heavy,” one of the movers said to Collections Registrar Lindsay Ault.

“I know, I packed it,” was Lindsay’s response.

  Everyone works. Village Interpreter and Actor Alex Delaney   installs shelving.

Like artefacts are packed together. Sections of accessioned items are kept together. We have a master  list.                                                                                                  

 Every once in a while something goes astray. Why is there a lone box of army artefacts with ceremonial artefacts, club gavels, banners, etc.?


Why isn't there Coroplast on this shelf? It only has foam. Both are needed to cover the wire shelving.

“I’ll cut you a piece,” volunteer Rose Turner says.

My vision for this new space is for it to be up to regional standards. The aspiration is to have storage as good as the Kelowna Museums.

Norma Harisch, President of the Salmon Arm Museum and Heritage Association, laughs. She knows I’ve always aimed high developing a game in the 90s called Big Museum. Visit the larger centres, get behind the scenes, and see what they do, and go home and imitate.

Kelowna Museum’s Amanda Snyder holds an MA in Museum Studies. She’s the one with the foam on her shelves, telling me that we also need to purchase Coroplast to cover the wire shelving that we purchased economically from Target. Coroplast is a brand name for fluted polypropylene sheets that look like plastic cardboard. Ours had to be ordered from Opus because we needed acid free, archival quality.

Canadian Conservation Institute Collection Preservation/Preservation Services Senior Advisor Simon Lambert recommends that “for most community museum collections, which include a range of object types like domestic objects, smaller boxed items, etc. you will likely not need both [foam and Coroplast]… foam will be sufficient. However, what you could do is group all your objects that are likely to topple over (glass bottles, etc.) and place those on shelves that have both the rigid support and the padding. When objects or documents are in boxes, you do not need a rigid support or foam.”

 The Registrar needed somewhere to work!

Contractor Wayne Peace  smiled after the installation was complete. He swept up too!


   Work station? Unpack the foam? Hand me the blade!

So we’ve cut 100 4 x 8 sheets of Coroplast into shelf sizes. Another 50 sheets are on order. My crew has cut two rolls of foam and will begin a 3rd shortly. Cutting and measuring became so much easier when Contractor Wayne Peace made us a plywood template with a handle.

  Starting the reorg. See the foam? The Coroplast? AND the temporary lists of artefacts for shelf location? Amanda Snyder will be pleased!


At the moment we are awaiting delivery of more standards, the uprights that hold the shelves together. They will allow us to assemble the shelves that have not yet been used. When we cut the shelf standards to fit our 11.5 foot ceilings, we had extras because Target had taller ceilings. That’s going to work well for us.

Stay tuned for the photographs and the party we will throw when we’re done . . .

This move, rehousing and reorg has been made possible by grants from the Museum Assistance Program (MAP), the Shuswap Community Foundation, and Rosemary Wilson’s Flower Fund. We also thank Bill and Linda Laird for the new-to-us filing cabinets and museum collections work stations.

Example of wordmark with acknowledgement text. English in left column, French in right column.