Everyone who loves Revelstoke visits the Revelstoke Museum & Archives at some point in their lives. It has interesting and, indeed, pretty good displays for a small-town museum
But this local institution has far more artifacts that most people know.
“We have over 6,000 artifacts, as well as about 100 metres of archival records, and over 8,000 photographs (the archives and photographs are in storage on the top floor),” says Curator Cathy English.
Most of the artifacts have, until now, been kept on dusty wooden shelves in the museum’s basement. But now, thanks to funding from the Province’s Creative Spaces program, and the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance (an arts, culture and heritage program of Columbia Basin Trust) the museum has been able to purchase and install a new and professional accordion-style storage system that allows personnel to turn a wheel that opens and closes the entire system.
“The shelving came from Hi-Cube storage out of Vancouver,” Cathy said. “It cost $33,000. The company was able to re-use shelving from other buildings, which brought the costs down for us. The installation took one week, and allowed us to consolidate three rooms of artifact storage into the one room. This has provided us with secure, safe storage for our artifact collection.”
With this new system n place the Museum has hired Harumi Sakiyama to re-catalogue all 6,000 artifacts onto a computerized data base, a task she has been aided with by volunteer Sheryl Wolgram.
This is very much a labour of love. Every artifact tells a story about its owners and admirers. And when you put them all together they tell a remarkable human story about our community.
I envy Sheryl and Harumi. They’re doing something intensely interesting and, in terms of preserving our past, something very valuable to us all as well.
Here are’s a photographer’s-eye-view of some of the things they uncovered while exploring the museum’s treasures: