Sheldon Museum begins expansion project with important new acquisition

HAINES – The Sheldon Museum and Cultural Center has announced the acquisition and future rehousing of the Alaska Indian Arts archive. Last November, Lee Heinmiller and AIA donated the AIA’s archives to the Sheldon Museum. This donation includes records, photographs, recordings, and objects relating to AIA, the Port Chilkoot Company, and Chilkoot Enterprises. It is a collection the museum considers to be of extreme importance due to its cultural and historical value. This gift to the museum doubles the museum’s archival holdings, greatly increasing the historical resources available to the Haines community. Since the donation, the collection has continued to be housed at AIA at Fort Seward due to limited storage space and staffing at the Sheldon Museum.

In preparation for the acceptance of this donation, the Sheldon Museum is installing movable archival shelving in the lower gallery space this week, to create a new archives storage and research center. Moving all archives to the lower level will allow the museum to accommodate the AIA archives, as well as future donations in a large, climate-controlled, and secure space. The space will include tables and computers for researchers. The new storage area has been made possible by support from Alaska Marine Lines, the Haines Borough, Dawson Construction Inc, the Alaska State Library in Juneau, the Chilkat Valley Community Foundation, Museums Alaska, and the Rasmuson Foundation. An intern, Amy Lowery, will join museum staff for the first six months of 2016 to help transfer collections into the new space. Lowery is finishing her Museum Science degree at Texas Tech University.

The relocation and expansion of the archives is the first phase in the Museum’s proposed expansion project.

 

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