Fran Ferguson Contributing writer
Digging into history and researching your family genealogy just got easier. A database of the archives of the Salem Museum and Historical Society is now available to be searched online. Over 8,000 images, documents and objects can be viewed via the “Collections Online” tab of the Museum’s website at salemmuseum.org. The number of records will continue to grow as volunteers digitize more items from the Museum’s collection. These volunteers are also available to help with research questions on Fridays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Salem Museum has completed the implementation of PastPerfect – the industry-leading database program for museums – on its computer networks. This software program, bought with matching grants from the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) and the Salem Historical Society, will significantly improve the museum’s collection management system.
This software program will more efficiently collect, describe, organize and access the museum’s growing collections, thus ensuring the preservation of important historic artifacts while providing invaluable information to researchers both locally and globally. Frances Ferguson, Executive Director of the Salem Museum and Historical Society, said, “We are so enormously grateful for the funding that has made it possible for the Salem Museum and Historical Society to implement PastPerfect for our archives. This incredible organization and search capability will transform our Museum and enable us to better serve guests, researchers, and our community, near and far.”
The Salem Historical Society was awarded a grant by the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in the amount of $2,262 in May 2016. Funding for this project was made possible through the sponsorship of Fort Lewis Chapter National Society Daughters of the American Revolution in Salem, Virginia. Dr. Peggy Shifflett, President of the Salem Historical Society, stated: “Finally, with the support of the NSDAR, we have brought the Salem Museum’s collection into the 21st century and available by visiting the Salem Museum webpage.”
The initial work of implementing the PastPerfect project is complete, but the Library Committee will not be resting on their laurels. They will be presenting this work to the Salem community and assisting researchers in using the valuable resources now readily available to them.
The Museum and Historical Society want to thank the NSDAR for their support of this project, especially the Fort Lewis Chapter NSDAR (Adele Morris, former Regent) for their sponsorship. Many people assisted with gaining funding and implementing this initiative, including Museum staff and numerous volunteers such as Elizabeth Doolittle, Mary Ann Hollandsworth, Susan Kirby, Martha Pinkerton, Cindy Reynolds, and Connie Stone; Peggy Shifflett, President of the Salem Historical Society; Frances Ferguson, Executive Director of the Salem Museum and Historical Society; Alex Burke, Assistant Director; and John Long, previous Museum director.
For more information, please contact Emmalee D. Morris, Regent, Fort Lewis Chapter National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, at 540-353-8884; Peggy Shifflett, President, Salem Historical Society at 540-389-6760; or visit http://salemmuseum.org/.
-Submitted by Fran Ferguson