Museum receives grant to benefit collections

Posted on 07/30/2007

The Seminole Nation Museum is pleased to announce that it is the recipient of a grant from the Oklahoma-based Inasmuch Foundation.

Funds from the $39,000 award will be used to improve archive management and allow the Museum to gain intellectual control of its extensive photograph, artifact and documents collections.   Matching funds provided by the Museum through annual membership contributions and special donations will finance the balance of the approximately $57,000 project.

Through the award, new computer hardware and equipment will be purchased , as well as state-of-the art registration software, which will allow the Museum to better  organize and care for its permanent collection.  A new, dedicated staff  position has been created to oversee the completion of the project, which will be relying on extensive amounts of volunteer labor.

Among many of the benefits to the new technology, the software and equipment will result in a searchable database capable of identifying each object by registration date/number, description, provenance or  location quickly and accurately, providing a permanent electronic record of all items in the collection. Digital images of each artifact or document will be stored in the database and can be searched for effortlessly.    This use of digital imagery provides for a faster, more efficient method of scanning the collection, and also insures long-term care of the objects as they do not have to handled during the search process.

Once completed, this two-year long project will positively impact the Museum in numerous ways.  It will provide staff a better understanding of the scope of our collection and allow us to see areas of strength and weakness in who and what we represent.  It will give us greater inventory control for insurance and security purposes and will allow the public greater access to our  collections without fear of loss or damage.  It will ensure our ability to accurately track the condition of artifacts in the collection and therefore ensure the long-term care of the objects;  and will greatly improve the accessioning and registration process for future items brought into the collection.

The funds were awarded to the Museum as part of $2.97 million in grants issued to forty-six Oklahoma organizations by the Inasmuch Foundation in May of 2007.  Other recipients include the Myriad Gardens, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Leadership Oklahoma and United Way.

The Inasmuch Foundation was established in 1982 by Edith Kinney Gaylord, daughter of editor and publisher E.K. Gaylord,  for charitable, scientific and educational purposes. Known as Oklahoma's quiet philanthropist, Ms. Gaylord often made anonymous donations to help those in need. After a lifetime of giving, she formally created two foundations that allowed her contributions to do the most good, for the most people. In doing so, Ms. Gaylord created foundations that would stand the test of time and continue giving long after her death in 2001.

Today, the Foundation is committed to carrying on the interests of its late founder by giving to education, health and human services, cultural organizations, the arts, historic preservation and environmental concerns.

If you would like to volunteer some of your time in assisting the Museum in accomplishing this worthwhile endeavor, please contact  Registrar Karen Smith or Executive Director Richard Ellwanger at 405/257-5580.