It’s all about stuff. The stuff that kept businesses busy and emergencies attended to – and kept teenagers talking and families together though miles apart. It’s the stuff of the pre-digital telephone network. All the bits and pieces, wires and widgets, the printed matter, photographs, letters, notes. And more.
The third Volunteer Day of the season, “Archival Survival” will begin at 10:00 am on Saturday, July 19 with orientation in the new Visitor Center at The Telephone Museum in Ellsworth.
How does The Telephone Museum keep track of it all? Very carefully – and slowly. Working for several years with Past Perfect software, museum Secretary Stan St.Onge has made heroic progress in keeping up with the cataloging of museum acquisitions. But with several museum buildings and off-site storage areas, the task is slipping beyond even his experienced grasp. Can you help Stan and the museum?
Working with The Telephone Museum archives and artifacts is both useful to the museum and an education in itself. Among the documents needing attention is everything from the history of independent telephone companies in Maine to schematics necessary to maintain the museum’s exhibits. And artifacts ranging from a small tool to a telephone pole require identification and entry into the museum’s Finding Aid.
Created by Stan St.Onge, the museum’s Finding Aid is crucial to locating artifacts and archival material once they have been properly acquired. It’s almost like a treasure map! If you enjoy organizing, you’ll love this work. Experience with Past Perfect software, data entry, or other filing systems are a plus, but not necessary – we will train you.