LETTER: Museum board chose to deaccession pump

LETTER: Museum board chose to deaccession pump

Many of the stored artifacts and items have never been properly acquired or processed

Dear Editor:

Further to your article, “Dispute rages over gas pump,” many readers may wonder what the gas pump dispute is all about.

The pump was donated to the museum in the 1990s by a city worker who had been asked to find a place for it.

During the recent renovation of the museum, it was moved from the lobby into the staff work area.

In October, 2016, the curator, with the approval of the board, decided to deaccession the pump. “The object is unwieldy and the difficulty in moving and storing it exceeds the object’s historical value. It also requires a significant amount of restoration which the museum cannot provide.”

A group of museum members disagreed. Therefore, the board considered recommended the deaccessioning of the pump be reversed, bringing it back into the museum collection. It is being restored without any cost to the museum and will be displayed in Summerland when the restoration is complete.

One of the challenges is documenting and cataloging the backlog of artifacts and items stored in the RCMP basement, as well as in a container at the city yard.

Due to understaffing at the museum and a lack of archival training, many stored artifacts and items have never been properly acquired or processed. The priority of the museum staff and board is to process these items so that they may be made available to the public.

A citizens’ group has sent a letter to the B.C. Registrar under the Society’s Act, listing their concerns with the museum.

The board feels confident that they have followed appropriate protocols and welcome any review by the registrar. Individuals with concerns may further their understanding of the museum’s ongoing challenges by reading the September 2016 report by Lisa Glandt, Coordinator of Education and Advisory Services, of Archives Association of B.C.

The museum is a gem in this community, contributing historically and educationally, not just to the people of Summerland but to the visitors worldwide who visit this community.

Sandy Nicolson, president

Summerland Museum and Archives Society Board