There’s a lot happening in the basement of the current museum and archives. Contractors have installed the rolling shelving in the Montebello Museum. Getting ready for them meant staff and volunteers emptied the shelving in the archives.

There was a plan. Lindsay Ault, the Registrar of Collections, packed the majority of the boxes. She had a clipboard and a commanding use of a dolly or, in moving terms, a hand truck. She set up a spreadsheet. Being the Museum’s Registrar, she made sure that the contents of each box were registered. It took 3 hours and eight people to move 180 boxes. When we picked them up in the new location we were advised that some were very heavy.

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

Gary Cruikshank agreed to set up temporary shelving in the Montebello basement a few days before the move. When asked who he’d like me to call for help, his answer was immediate.

“Call Bruce Bolton. He is a good worker,” Gary told me that Bruce had helped move the shelving from storage in Gary’s personal container.

“And tell him this isn’t heavy lifting, like the day before,” Gary said.

Bruce and Gary set up the shelving in a few hours on a Wednesday, making us ready for the move the next day. The weather was hot Thursday and eight of us were all sweating that day.

The compact or rolling shelving was the next stage in the process. It had to be professionally installed. When the contractors from Storage Solutions Calgary set up the rolling shelving there were surprisingly few hitches. They’d done this kind of work for other museums. They knew the manufacturer. The floor was very good. Kevan and Ed shimmed the railing where they had to. The units went back together easily.

While the installation was happening we danced around the other contractors. Shuswap Refrigeration’s techies showed up during the move and started making a lot of noise. They had duct work to complete!

Bribed with Lindsay's home made cookies, Darryll, the owner of the refrigeration company, offered to donate some steel pipe for hanging our garments. He cut it to size and gave us the clamps we needed. Kevan from Storage Solutions Calgary told us how other museums made closets out of their shelving. It was dust free, ideal storage and not too heavy for the units.

Lindsay borrowed a couple of different drills and gave me a lesson on Tek Screws. She sent me searching for more screws. The job of the Registrar is to teach the rest of the Curatorial Staff about construction matters. Tek is a brand name. Lindsay told me they were self-drilling screws that eliminated the need to pre-drill in metal to metal applications.

After Lindsay set up the clothing rods, the ladies who volunteer in the archives started moving clothing, trying very hard to keep the bagged gowns in order. It wasn’t an easy task, but Lindsay proofed the order against her master list. She was pleased knowing that next week Doreen, the Textiles Registrar, would proof our work.

This week the boxed textiles will be moved and uninstalled particle board bottom shelves will be sealed with paint. The fonds boxes in the temporary shelving will be unloaded into the vault. Then the process will start again.

Everyone agrees, this is an exciting time.

Thank you Gary, the two Bruces,  Doug, Lee, Otto, Greg, Jesse, Leona, Kerry, Nancy, Ian, Pat, Lise, and of course the Registrar of Collections,Lindsay Ault.

And funders Museum Assistance Program (MAP), the Shuswap Community Foundation, and Young Canada Works. 

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