Renovations begun to protect Carrollcroft
Notonly has work begun on the outside of the Colby-Curtis Museum in recent weeks, but big improvements to what’s going on inside Carollcroft are also under way, thanks to two grants that the museum was recently awarded, both from Canadian Heritage.
The first positive grant answer came in the summer from the Museum Assistance Program of Canadian Heritage for a Collection Management project. “They accepted our project Mise en place de logiciel de gestion de la collection “Past Perfect” et amenagement de l’entreposage de la collection. We’ll be installing new software for collection management and re-organizing the storage system of the collection,” explained the museum’s director and curator, Chloe Southam.
Patrick LeBrun, the museum’s technician, has been assigned to lead the project, under Ms. Southam’s supervision, and another technician will be hired in the spring to assist in the extensive work to record detailed information about all of the museum’s artefacts. That information includes the nature, the state of preservation, storage recommendations and a photograph of roughly 14,000 historic objects. “This will improve the storage system, make the collection more accessible, and make sure it is preserved in the best way possible. It will also make research easier,” said Ms. Southam. The grant for that Workers have begun to replace the aging asphalt shingle roof of Carrollcroft with a thick protective membrane which will be followed by steel roof tiles. project is for $48,448.00.
The museum’s second grant, which it received in the fall, is from the Canadian Fund for Cultural Spaces, also from Canadian Heritage. That grant will be used for two different proj-
ects: to remove the roof shingles from Carrollcroft and replace them with steel roof tiles; and to finish the new archival space in the basement, under the solarium. The amount of that grant is $142,400.
“We’ve had issues of leakage in the past so it was urgent to work on the roof. The idea is to remove the asphalt shingles, put a membrane on the roof and then the steel roof tiles which will reflect the heritage of Carrollcroft. Those tiles are supposed to last fifty years. The roof was a danger to the structure of the building and to the collection, so replacing it was an essential need of the house,” said the director. The work on the roof began a few weeks ago and is expected to be completed by next spring. The preparatory work will be long as the large roof must first be evened out. Two of the museum’s Board members, Pierre Fontaine and Harry Isbrucker, are supervising the roof construction work.
The second project, to complete the archival space, includes installing the electricity and a mobile storage system, shelving that can move and that maximizes storage space. All of the museum’s archives will be stored in the new area rather than at several locations around the building. “The new room will meet the highest standards and have a climate control system, keeping the archives in the best environment. It will also be a repository for other organizations, and if someone wants to donate some archival material, they will know that it will be stored properly,” added Ms. Southam.
“We’re very grateful for this support from Canadian Heritage. I was very concerned with the perennity of the collection; we need to take care of it,” she concluded.