What Makes An Artifact?

EHF garment collections storage

In a previous blog post, I talked about how an artifact in the EHF collection is cataloged.  Today, I’ll share how the photograph from your great-grandmother’s photo album or the washtub in your neighbor’s attic can become part of the Ephraim Historical Foundation collections.

It’s important to note that the EHF cannot accept all the items that are suggested.  Part of our mission is to preserve the artifacts in the collection, which requires time, space, and funds.  To keep those artifacts safe for future generations, we sometimes have to make tough decisions about what we can and cannot accept.  Here are a few reasons an item may not be accepted into the EHF collection.

Sometimes, an item is in extremely poor condition, or we may already have multiple copies of similar items in better condition.  In other cases, it may not be a good fit for our mission, which is focused on Ephraim’s history.  In these instances, it may be a piece that would fit better at another museum or historical society.

So what happens when you are interested in donating an object to the EHF?  First, we recommend contacting us online through this form, which provides some basic information about the item.  Photographs are always appreciated.  That information is then given to our Archives and Collections Administration Committee, who decides whether or not to accept the piece based on the EHF Collections Management Policy.  Because we need to get formal approval from the Committee, leaving items at the EHF Office (without first contacting staff) is not a good way to donate.

If the piece is accepted for the EHF collections, the donor fills out paperwork to give the EHF sole custody of the object.  Once an item is part of the collection, it may be used in exhibits, social media posts, publications, and more!  Questions about donating an artifact?  Click here to learn more.

-Guest Blogger Emily Irwin

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