The Northwest Railway Museum was honored to host a Reinforcement Crew event on May 17. The Reinforcement Crew is a team of museum collections professionals from the Registrars Committee of the American Alliance of Museums ("AAM"). The AAM is holding their conference in Seattle this month and registrars from all over North American are visiting for this largest annual gathering of museum professionals in the world.
The Reinforcement Crew supports collections projects at small museums located in the annual conference host city. This 7th annual event selected five projects to support, including one here at the Northwest Railway Museum. The Museum's project inventoried and boxed the collection of published material, which has been housed in the Snoqualmie Depot since the early 1980s. This paper-based collection is being packed up and stored in preparation for its eventual relocation to the new Railway History Center library expected to open next year in Snoqualmie. The new library will store materials in a temperature and humidity-controlled vault to help assure long term preservation.
Volunteers participating in the Northwest Railway Museum's project included Rebecca Engelhardt, Museum of Glass; Jessica Wilks, Tacoma Art Museum; Elizabeth K Mauro, Art Installation; Mell Scalzi, Museum of Arts and Design; Ariane Westin-McCaw, Nordic Heritage Museum; and Jeri Miller, Artech. Participating from the Northwest Railway Museum were Cristy Lake, Peggy Barchi, Dennis Snook, George Houle and Spike. Thank you to all who participating!
During a seven hour work party, more than 120 boxes were filled with books and a detailed inventory of each box was generated and recorded. Boxes were loaded into the Museum's coach 218, which has been undergoing rehabilitation and restoration in the Conservation and Restoration Center. The 218 is nearly complete with a few weeks work on ceilings, some moldings and seats remaining to be completed. So it was a natural choice for transporting the library collection as it was not yet being used on the regular train, and it gave Museum staff an opportunity to evaluate the car's performance. It also gave the visiting collections volunteers an opportunity to travel in rehabilitated coach more than 100 years old!