Monday, May 14, 2012

Welcome to the Collection!

Usually twice a year a volunteer group known as the Acquisitions Committee meets to decide which objects should be incorporated into the Kodiak Historical Society’s permanent collection. It’s a fun group of long time and lifelong Kodiak residents who are familiar with our community’s history and passionate about its preservation. 
Acquisitions Committee members, lifelong Kodiak residents,
and sisters Myrtle Olsen and Martha Randolph pose in front of the
objects recently added into the permanent collection.

This week we had a meeting and decided to welcome 18 objects into the museum’s collection. These newest additions to the collection are like a grab bag of Kodiak history. They range from the very new, like a wooden salmon roe box from Larsen Bay’s Icicle Seafoods cannery, to older objects, like the 1840 mint Russian coin that was likely in circulation in Kodiak during the Russian era.  They represent commerce, like the Bank of Kodiak money barrel and Kraft’s clipboard, and entertainment, such as the Tony’s Place bar glass from the 1940s. And, just in time for the upcoming Crab Festival, we got Crab Fest commemorative coins from 1974 and a pin from the silver jubilee celebration in 1982.

Kraft's operated in Kodiak for over 90 years. This
notebook with pre-printed shopping list is one
object that can tell the business's story long
after its closing. KHS, 2012-11-01.
Few of these objects are particularly glamorous, and someone may wonder what a museum would want them for in the first place. A notebook with a pre-printed shopping list from an old grocery store?  The value of many museum objects doesn’t necessarily rest in their beauty, or how much they cost, or their association with an important person, but in how they document and communicate everyday lives. These mundane objects are tied to specific places that existed in a specific moment in Kodiak’s past. While we can no longer go to Kraft’s to peruse their produce department, from the shopping list we can see that within the bins were onions, carrots, potatoes and, if you were lucky, asparagus.
This Tony's bar glass likely
dates to the early 1940s.
KHS, 2012-03-01.

During future Acquisitions Committee meetings, I ’m hoping to welcome more objects that relate to Kodiak’s businesses and industries. Please get in touch with the museum if you have a stash of local business memorabilia that you are interested in donating to the museum. Future generations will thank you!

No comments:

Post a Comment