Archive files piling up as museum moves toward digital age

A collections management co-ordinator will soon be hired at the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery.

A collections management co-ordinator will soon be hired at the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery.

MAG hopes to post a job ad for the position to help with digitizing the museum’s collection in the coming weeks.

Once this exhaustive and long work is completed, the museum may look to removing some of its digitized collection.

But Lorna Johnson, MAG’s executive director, said that’s a long way down the road. She said while they wait for the grant money, they are in a holding pattern and will continue to cope with the space shortage.

“It’s our big dilemma,” said Johnson. “We know that there is material out there now that we should be collecting in order to document our community’s history.

“We are having to be so very selective of what we can take. Size is one of the limiting factors.”

Johnson said that’s the challenge today but it is not new because they did not have enough space when they moved into the building in the 1970s.

“Then adding to the collection and making sure it is complete is an ongoing challenge,” said Johnson.

The museum is looking to once and for all fix its space crunch over a five-year plan starting this year. At the end of 2014, Johnson said they hope to have a “best-case scenario” strategy. At the end of the five years, Johnson said they hope to have a workable solution.

“We have some things stored already offsite but that’s in a building that the city leases until the end of 2014,” said Johnson. “So we also have to find room for those things when that lease expires. The problem is acute.

“The trouble is everything you do just creates more work. If we move things to another site, then we have a staffing and an access issue because we have to function on two sites.”

Once the collection is digitalized, staff will be able to take a closer look at the collections.

MAG underwent a major restructuring in December and is implementing the changes.

Last year, the city conducted a collection storage assessment for the city archives, records management and MAG. A proposed collection storage facility was scrapped from its 10-year capital plan because the city did not want to move forward without having a solid plan in place.

Kristina Oberg, Culture Department supervisor, said the city has adequate storage space for the time being and the idea is to plan for the future so the city does not run out of space. She said the city is working with the museum to look at the next steps for all the collections.

Next month, the city and the groups will meet to look at the space requirements and talk about what comes next.

At one time, a collection storage facility was in the 10-year capital plan but it was taken out in order for the city to reassess what was needed for storage.

The city doesn’t want to move forward until a plan is in place. The strategy and the plan will be developed this year.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Image from Facebook)
Central Alberta Soroptimists celebrate International Women’s Day

Soroptimist International of Central Alberta will host its first virtual International Women’s… Continue reading

Samantha Sharpe, 25, was stabbed to death at Sunchild First Nation on Dec. 12, 2018. Chelsey Lagrelle was sentenced to 4.5 years in prison for manslaughter in a Red Deer courtroom on Tuesday. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta woman sentenced to 4 1/2 years for stabbing friend to death in 2018

Chelsey Lagrelle earlier pleaded guilty to stabbing Samantha Sharpe during argument

Alberta's chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw says Albertans need to keep making safe choices to start bending the curve back down. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
One new COVID-19 death in Red Deer, 257 additional cases province-wide

Red Deer sits at 459 active cases of the virus

Olds College logo
Olds College to host free, online agriculture celebration next month

Olds College will host a free live-streamed agriculture event next month. The… Continue reading

Alberta Health Services Logo
AHS upgrading online immunization booking tool

Alberta Health Services’ online booking tool for COVID-19 immunizations will be temporarily… Continue reading

Red Deer dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped save a missing pet recently. The two dogs have more than 80,000 followers on Twitter. (Contributed photo)
WATCH: Red Deer science dogs help save lost pet

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped rescue a missing pet… Continue reading

The Dawe family home in the Michener Hill subdivision in Red Deer. This house was designed and built by Robert G. Dawe, a local engineer, in 1911 and has remained in the family ever since. (Contributed photo)
Michael Dawe: 65 years of Red Deer history

As a major milestone birthday looms, I thought that it might be… Continue reading

Dallas Stars' Mark Pysyk (13) and Tampa Bay Lightning's Ondrej Palat (18) compete for control of a loose puck in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Dallas, Tuesday, March 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Vasilevskiy 3rd straight shutout as Lightning top Stars 2-0

Vasilevskiy 3rd straight shutout as Lightning top Stars 2-0

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) grabs a loose puck as Canadiens defenceman Ben Chiarot (8) and Ottawa Senators left wing Brady Tkachuk (7) battle for the rebound during first-period NHL hockey action Tuesday, March 2, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Hab down Sens 3-1 to snap 5-game winless streak; Ducharme earns 1st NHL coaching win

Hab down Sens 3-1 to snap 5-game winless streak; Ducharme earns 1st NHL coaching win

FILE - In this Jan. 16, 2021, file photo, Creighton coach Greg McDermott watches the team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Butler in Indianapolis. McDermott apologized publicly Tuesday, March 2, for using insensitive language in his postgame locker room talk with players and staff following a loss over the weekend. In a tweet, McDermott said he used a “terribly inappropriate analogy in making a point about staying together as a team despite the loss.” (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)
Creighton coach McDermott apologizes for ‘plantation’ remark

Creighton coach McDermott apologizes for ‘plantation’ remark

WHL’s B.C. Division clubs cleared to play in Kamloops and Kelowna bubble environments

WHL’s B.C. Division clubs cleared to play in Kamloops and Kelowna bubble environments

World Rugby recommends postponing 2021 women’s World Cup to next year

World Rugby recommends postponing 2021 women’s World Cup to next year

Sean Burke speaks at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, July 25, 2017. The Montreal Canadiens have made another change to their coaching staff, appointing Burke to take over as the director of goaltending. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Montreal Canadiens appoint Sean Burke as director of goaltending

Montreal Canadiens appoint Sean Burke as director of goaltending

The Toronto Arrows line up ahead of their Major League Rugby game in Toronto on April 7, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Neil Davidson
Toronto Arrows train under the bubble before heading south of the border

Toronto Arrows train under the bubble before heading south of the border

Most Read