Pictured are some rusted items that have been identified for deaccessioning at the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Pictured are some rusted items that have been identified for deaccessioning at the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Museum making space through deaccessioning project

The project is part of the museum’s larger Red Cross Relocation and Restoration Project

The Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin is doing some fall cleaning.

Called a deaccessioning project as part of its larger Red Cross Relocation and Restoration Project, the initiative aims to relocate items from the museum’s collection that do not fit in the collection for a number of reasons.

Raene Poisson, an artifact technician and professional museum conservator, is spearheading the project, and has come to Williams Lake from Shaunavon, Sask. to oversee its completion.

Her job is to, essentially, go through the museum’s collection and subsequent database records — including at its storage locations at the Williams Lake Airport and at the City’s public works yard — to decide what stays and recommend items for deaccessioning.

“Things that haven’t been dealt with for many, many years and what I’m doing is conservation treatment, so I need to know what the museum absolutely wants and has time to put treatment into,” Poisson said. “We have a process we go through before something can be deaccessioned. We aren’t just throwing things away.”

That process ensures the museum’s collection items aren’t haphazardly discarded.

READ MORE: New museum staff undertakes new cataloguing project

“First, donors will be contacted if one of their items has been selected for deaccessioning. Next, we have to contact all the museums and other non-profits to see if they want an item, and then after that things go out for public auction,” she said.

“And all proceeds from that go directly back into care for the collection. The very final step is complete destruction. This last step is rare, and usually only happens to severely damaged or hazardous items.”

Alex Geris, the museum manager of the MCC, said the project is long overdue as both its off-site storage locations, and the museum, itself, are overfull.

“Deaccessioning is a necessary part of collections management, because over time, things make it into the collection that don’t fit within MCC’s mandate,” Geris said. “Our collecting priorities are Williams Lake and the Cariboo Chilcotin, and many items we have are more appropriate for other regional museums. We need to remove these items so that we can focus our resources on the items that represent our community.”

Museum staff are also being trained by Poisson to examine and identify items that may be recommended for deaccessioning, which considers the item’s history and condition.

Poisson said she will be working on the project into November of this year, however, noted it will likely take a year to complete entirely.

So far, she added, the two deaccessioning meetings between museum staff, members and directors have been positive.

“We’re still looking for two or three members from the public to be a part of the meetings,” she said.

“Someone with an interest in history, or anyone concerned about things, potentially, being deaccessioned. We want to help people understand and to be a part of it.”

Poisson noted she thoroughly enjoys museum work and this Red Cross Project at the MCC.

“We get to learn about new things, and I can show all my coworkers about everything I know because they get excited about it, too,” she said.

One thing of note, she said, is the museum is not allowed to give items directly back to the public as items need to go through the correct processes before being deaccessioned.

She added it is a long, complex process, and details of MCC’s deaccessioning policy can be found in their Collections Policy available on its website.

If anyone is interested in being a part of the committee, they can e-mail the MCC at mccoffice@telus.net.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Raene Poisson, artifact technician and professional museum conservator, is spearheading the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin’s deaccessioning project — part of an undertaking within its larger Red Cross Relocation and Restoration Project. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Raene Poisson, artifact technician and professional museum conservator, is spearheading the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin’s deaccessioning project — part of an undertaking within its larger Red Cross Relocation and Restoration Project. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Just Posted

Cariboo Festival Society president Robin Ford, left, and board member Chris Ford outside of Williams Lake Evangelical Free Church on Eleventh Avenue where a virtual version of the festival kicked off Monday, April 12. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune).
Cariboo Festival showcasing virtually in lakecity

Each performer was allowed one spectator and Angela Sommer accompanying them on piano

“These artworks combine the grittiness of our urban and port-side environment with the lightness of a playful and exploratory creative process,” note the artists in their artist statement about the show.	(Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Station House Gallery’s latest exhibit features a port-themed collaboration

Valerie Arntzen and Lori Sokoluk created the pieces when they had adjacent studios in Vancouver

Emergency crews respond to a structural fire on Highway 97 between Williams Lake and Quesnel on Friday, April 16. (Photo submitted)
Update: Famous Cariboo carver Ken Sheen’s wood shop destroyed by fire

The shop was located between Williams Lake and Quesnel

The city of Williams Lake has been doing routine maintenance to one of its wells at Scout Island as seen here earlier this week. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake residents asked to reduce non-essential water use

One of the city’s pumps is under repair

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Valen a student of Coldstream Elementary writes advice for adults amid a pandemic.
‘We can get rid of COVID together’: B.C. kids share heartwarming advice

Elementary students share their wisdom to adults in unprecedented times

The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip laid to rest Saturday as sombre queen sits alone

The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view within the grounds of Windsor Castle

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. health minister says delay in Moderna vaccine ‘disappointing’

‘The sooner we get vaccines in people’s arms the better, and inconsistency in delivery is a consistent problem. This is simply a reality and not an issue of blame,’ Adrian Dix said Friday

(Police handout/Kamloops RCMP)
B.C. man dies in custody awaiting trial for Valentine’s Day robbery, kidnapping spree

Robert James Rennie, who was on the Kamloops RCMP’s most wanted list, passed away at the North Fraser Pretrial Centre in Coquitlam

Photos of Vancouver Canucks players are pictured outside the closed box office of Rogers Arena in downtown Vancouver Thursday, April 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canucks games against Leafs postponed as team returns from COVID-19

The team has had 11 games postponed since an outbreak late last month

Danita Bilozaze and her daughter Dani in Comox. Photo by Karen McKinnon
Island woman makes historic name change for truth and reconciliation

Becomes first person in Canada to be issued new passport under the TRC Calls to Action

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Most Read