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Museum hosting collectible care training
January 5, 2018

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Stephanie Steinke, director of the Prairie Village Museum, announced the museum is having a Collectibles and how to care for them training session, free to the public on January 12 - 13 at the museum's main gallery.

The class is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days, and lunch will be at an offsite location, but attendees are encouraged to join together but lunch is not hosted by the museum. This class is the second of multiple classes, funded by a grant for the preservation of collectibles.

When asked how the museum can financially host this event, Steinke said, "We applied for a large federal grant, and we received that grant for the preservation of items in our community. We currently have many items in storage that need to be preserved."

"This effort has been a phased effort," she said. "In 2016 we applied for phase 1 and were granted it in September, 2016. This portion of the grant made it possible for us to renovate the old main building by heating the facility."

That opened the door to the second phase, which will be training local residents in how to preserve, share and expand forever their personal historical items. There is no cost to the residents. What the museum would like in exchange, is to keep a copy of the items. This will be explained at a future date. There are no charges to the families, and they will have their original items and one copy of those items, in exchange for the copy for the museum.

The museum had its first workshop in 2016, at which Terri Schindel, the instructor this January, presented to the public, which consisted of 'outdoor' storage.' This storage area contains shelves and archival boxes allowing the museum to store and inventory items until they are ready to be preserved.

"I can show you in the building now, what item is where which includes the object and storage location. We didn't have this before," she said.

"Schindel is a very active presenter," Steinke said. "She has a hands on class, and people will learn how to preserve things such as photos, books, papers. The second part of the class will be items such as leather, fur, and uniforms."

This effort is made possible by a grant from the IMLS (Institute of Museum and Library Sciences) which the Prairie Village Museum has already received. We have applied for the second grant, with the Library and the School District. "This is a very prestigious grant," she said, "and allows us to receive yet another endowment from the National Endowment of the Humanities. We have applied for the second grant, with the Library and the School District to continue this work into the next phase."

The museum will work in concert with the Heart of America Library, and Kevin Leier from the Rugby School District in digitizing documents, and preserving over sized items. Families heirlooms, pictures, photos can be brought to the classes offered this coming summer, free of charge. These items will be preserved, and copied for the family, allowing the items to never be lost from a family's history. The only thing the museum is asking, is that they can keep a copy for their display in the museum here in Rugby. They are yours to share, expand and keep your objects preserved for lifetimes.

"Its so important to document and preserve our past," Steinke emphasized.

"We're coming to you," Steinke added. Leier's students will provide a public exhibit, complete with video. This exhibit will be public and rotatable. She is hoping to have local banks and businesses participate and display the objects. There will be no charge for the sharing of exhibits.

Articles and information may be found on the Facebook page for the Prairie Village Museum.

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