Vashon heritage association receives grant for archive preservation

Artifacts in the Heritage Museum archives will soon be stored in high-quality containers in an atmosphere-monitored room, thanks to a grant from 4Culture, King County’s cultural services agency.

The Vashon-Maury Island Heritage Association, which houses its archives in a small building near the Heritage Museum on Bank Road, was awarded $3,435 through 4Culture’s Heritage Collections Care grant program to purchase needed equipment to store and maintain its archives of photographs, newspapers, maps, clothing and other items.

“As our donations have increased, it’s been hard to keep up with the proper storage supplies, because they’re very expensive,” said Laurie Tucker, the heritage association’s vice president. “The grant money is very important to us to be able to purchase those materials.”

The materials will include specialized acid-free boxes and folders for storing artifacts, as well as equipment to monitor the temperature and humidity in the archival building, she said.

Tucker and Holly Taylor, a historic preservation consultant and heritage association volunteer, applied for the funds and learned Sept. 1 that the association had been awarded the grant.

The work the association will do to best preserve its archives was recommended by a professional museum consultant earlier this year.

“It’s really going to be great to professionalize the care of all the wonderful things that people donate to us,” Tucker said.

In addition, the heritage association also received a $500 grant from Humanities Washington and a $500 matching contribution from an Island family to support the archival project, Taylor said.

The association, which is operated by volunteers, will soon begin ordering materials, Tucker said; once they arrive, volunteers will begin the process of reorganizing and storing the museum’s many Vashon-related items. The project will likely take a year or more to complete, she said.

“I’m really excited,” Tucker said. “We so appreciate all the things that people in the community have donated from their own family histories, and we feel responsible to take good care of them.”

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