Dustin Fuqua explains that all of the the artifacts that Cane River Creole National Historical Park has recovered from the outbuildings at Magnolia and Oakland Plantation.

Artifacts include split oak baskets,  furniture, books, ledgers and store records, and farm implements spanning the entire plantation era.  Many of the artifacts were locally made, including many vernacular tools. The park also stores original signage from which they make copies.

Dusty explains

Dusty explains

Before joining the collection, items small enough to fit in a chest freezer are frozen, thawed and frozen again to kill insects. Some items that have been in moist/humid conditions are “stepped down” to the lower humidity in the facility by placing them in a plantation barn first.  Wearing protective gear (PPEs) is important while  collecting materials and vacuuming in place.
Mr. Fuqua does a lot of conservation, stabilizing, and labeling.
The facility uses museum quality archival materials: ethafoam, acid free tissue, tyvek, mylar film, acid-free matboards, archive boxes and chloroplast boxes.

Dusty conserves items using the “preservation of wear” philosophy, and the museum focuses on the end of the plantation era.  He follows the techniques and procedures outlined in the National Parks Service Concerve-o-gram series, but when a job is too big, the artifact must be sent to a conservator (as is the case with the Oakland main house collection).  Mr. Fuqua hopes to be able to place most of the items back in the plantation setting on display for the public to see.

Podcastn at Curation Facility 003Jeff Guin of the Natchitoches Preservation Network, http://natchitochespreservation.ning.com met our cohort at the Curation Facility. He explained that he is also the public information officer at NCPTT.

Crash course is a figure of speech;  Mr. Guin emphasized respecting the curation facility and park staff. We learned about a variety of resources, technologies, and tools (Mac labs in the Journalism department, garage band for Macs, audacity for PCs, HD cameras for video and photos, and the Zoom H2 digital recorder for podcasting). We were given “story boards” to organize our segments, and given pointers on how to brainstorm and conduct an interview.

After a short presentation, we began shooting videos and podcasts. We focused on items in the curation facility and methods in the conservation lab. My podcast group interviewed Dean Barnes and Rodney Meziere, second year MAHR students working in the lab.

Our class will finalize our podcast and video sometime later in the semester. It should be available online.

Megan O'Neal hosts a podcast

Megan O'Neal hosts a podcast

Podcastn at Curation Facility 005