Monday, October 1, 2007

2007 Annual Curator's Report

My year began on June 26, when I started my position as the first full-time curator at the Bradford County Historical Society. After having been a board member for three years, and having worked with local history for 15 years, it is exciting to have the opportunity to do something I enjoy on a daily basis.

The main topic of 2007 has been “change.” A great deal of reorganization took place during the summer and continues each day. The purpose of this work is to give everything a logical and easily accessible home within the museum. Each room and cell have been numbered using a pre-existing system in order to designate where incoming items should be housed and where current items can be found. This system will correspond with our Past Perfect computer inventory software so that all items in our collection can be located and used for exhibits and other purposes. This is an ongoing project.

Our entire newspaper collection has now been moved to the Gladys Gay Newspaper Room. All newspapers in the room are specifically from Bradford County except for a limited number of others that have been saved for potential exhibits. This project also continues but great strides have been made this year.

The Bradford County Historical Society became the official repository this year for all Odd Fellows and Rebekah records in Bradford County. Thanks to the generosity of the Wysox Odd Fellows Lodge and the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, we have added to a previous collection and have a very valuable resource.

Much of my time was spent, especially in August and September, designing the society’s new publication, Barclay Mountain – A History. It was very gratifying to have a part in this book, as the topic is of special interest to me. The Jim Smith collection, on which the book was based, is another valuable resource for the historical society and this book has preserved much of this information for generations to come.

The museum has had an exceptionally busy tourist season and since the last annual meeting we have hosted visitors from Italy, England, and the following states across the U.S.: Pennsylvania, Oregon, Ohio, New Jersey, Arizona, New York, Delaware, Oklahoma, Vermont, California, Colorado, Florida, Tennessee, Indiana, West Virginia, Michigan, Virginia, Montana, Washington, Maryland, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, Massachusetts, and Mississippi. In addition we have hosted the following group tours: SRU 6th grade, Northeast Bradford High School, Towanda 4th grade, Northeast Bradford 4th grade, North Rome Christian School 4th grade, YMCA Summer Camp students, School Teachers group, Courthouse Employees, and the Outstanding Young Woman program.

The following donors have given artifact and manuscript items over the past year: Susan Miller, Richard J. Webster, Guy & Martha Abell, Barbara Benjamin, Dale & Mary Lou Benjamin, Fred & Marge Coolbaugh, Sarah Edsell, Sarah Gary, Diana Hill, Ann Kerr, Richard Lancaster, Katherine Leljedal, Dorothy Curtiss Maryott, John Mingos, Sullivan County Historical Society, Janet Ordway, T.W. Shoemaker, Laraine Walters, Rita M. Stark, Garrett Voss, Beryl Cleary, Buddy & Nancy Crockett, George BonDurant, Lois Crandell, Mary Jane Pryslopski, Lois Gregory, Mrs. Robert Gauss, Esther Hassall, Pennsylvania State Police, Bessie Baker, J. Kelsey Jones, Carmella “Molly” Cacchione, Ruth Harvey, Chad Buynak, Connie McEwen, Thomas F. Brinkworth, Gale Largey, Mark & Delores Crane, Dr. Harold Secor, Lucy Corey, Vincent Bujan, John & Faith Rees, Carol Sullivan, Ardena Tyler, Lackawanna Historical Society, Evelyn Brewster, Harold Ayers, Lois Williams, Joan Phelan, James Walsh, Angela Candela, Diana Hill, Ulilla Costello, Judith Putnam, Kathy Jones, Robert Bahl, William Cass, Deanna Thurston, Shelley Cardiel, Marilyn Smith, F. Marshall Case Estate, Jean Lundy, Terry Peet, and Rowena Ward.

I would like to thank each one who have entrusted the Bradford County Historical Society with their family treasures. All of these items allow us to tell a more complete story of our county.