Installing Inspiration

The past two weeks a huge project was under taken at the North Dakota Heritage Center. The renovation of the original Heritage Center gallery, renamed the Inspiration Gallery, was ready for the installation of artifacts. Focusing on an thematic overview of North Dakota’s history since settlers first arrived, the gallery space will house thousands of objects, from artifacts as small and fragile as pysanky eggs, to large artifacts such as a threshing and a wind power generator.

Of course, installing this large of a gallery space takes a lot of organization beforehand. The collections assistant had used a row of the new storage area to gather and sort artifacts by case so they were ready to go by the time the install team arrived. IMG_0966

Then we grabbed items on a case by case basis, carefully laying them out on a cart, with some cases taking up two or three carts. Then it’s up the elevator and into the gallery space.


Many of the larger artifacts such as a car and missile trainer had been brought in before install started.IMG_0964

After the artifacts made it up to the gallery, the install team finalized mounts and placed them into the cases.  My main responsibility was to monitor the artifacts and make sure the install team handled them correctly, but I also assisted in sewing artifacts onto mounts and dressing mannequins.

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For those in my class that are reading, remember the Taylor Studios team we met on our field trip to Champaign? They are the team that came in for installation. They designed many of the mounts and constructed the “Pixel cases” that comprise the gallery.

After about a week and half of installation, the gallery was finished. There are still a few places that need glass put in, and we are still waiting for a few artifacts to arrive from conservation studios. The gallery opens to the public on November 2, 2014 as part of the Heritage Center’s 125th statehood anniversary celebration.





45 Days and Counting!

     Less than two months before I head nearly 1000 miles north to Bismarck, ND to start my internship with the State Historical Society of North Dakota on June 9th. I will be working the Jenny Yearous in the collections department as the collections technician intern. While there I will be helping accessioning, cataloging and other registration activities, as well as help in the movement of artifacts into a new storage area. For a special project, I will create and design a “recent” acquisitions case. The skills I have acquired over the last two semesters will be put to the test as I complete this exciting opportunity. 


     I’m super excited for this move. I have never been to North Dakota, and because of budget concerns, my move into my new apartment will be the first time I’ve ever been to the area. I’m pretty nervous, but the details are all coming together. I got word last week that I do indeed have an apartment, so I won’t be living out of my car for the next six months. While I will miss home, I can’t wait to get out of Illinois and stretch my wings. It will be weird though when it becomes August of 2014 and for the first time in 18 years I will not be getting ready for another year of school. 


  I will update again as soon as I’m settled up north!