We have been in ongoing dialog with the Mariners' Museum since the beginning of time, but these discussions have been more frequent and more formalized in the last couple of years.
Our calls have included Mary Sellen, Head Librarian for the Chris-Craft Collection, her staff of volunteers, and Christopher Leahy, VP of Finance and Administration for the Mariners' Museum.
Our early calls focused on collaboration. We exchanged ideas for maximizing access to the Museums' Chris-Craft Collection, much as we have started to do with our own small collection.
As many of you know, I am a big proponent of getting these wonderful historic documents digitized. First, it provides a protective digital backup should the originals become ravaged by age, fire, water, sunlight and the human touch. This is true of all old documents. They are truly in a process of turning to dust. A preservation plan attempts to slow this down. Digitizing ensures that this information will be with us long after the ink on paper is gone.
Second, and equally as important, these documents can only serve their intended purpose if they can be accessed easily. And for the purpose of this discussion, a member flying to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and flipping through files is not "easy."
The Mariners' Museum faces the same challenges and has the same opportunities with their own collection, but on a much grander scale. Whereas our Club collection fills 4-5 palettes, the Mariners' Museum's Chris-Craft Collection fills 4-5 semi trailers. Even given the breadth of their collection, the Mariners' Museum understands the importance of digitizing the collection and making it available via the internet
Our recent discussions have focused on these two issues. Protection and access. And in our discussions with Mariners' Museum staff, we always return to our original thought of collaboration.
To this end, the Mariners' Museum has developed a very short survey that they are asking all of our members to take. Please take a couple of minutes to complete this short survey.