Monday, September 18, 2017

Project complete! For now

-from Anne C. Morgan

It's hard to believe it's nearly the end of September already.  A month ago I began an intense digitization project with the goal of scanning all photographs in the Harry Casey Collection that connected to geoglyphs.  In a collection of more than 8,000 individual images, I knew the bulk of them pertained to geoglyphs, but what did that mean? All 8,000? 7,000?

30 days, 230.5 hours, and 2 scanners later, the answer is 4,462.  That's the number of photographs scanned, although there were over 1,000 duplicate copies of individual images.

2 scanners worked hard on this project!
What's next? What was the point of becoming the Mad Scanner? I'll be working with photographer Harry Casey and Sunbelt Publications to put together Harry's manuscript with accompanying images for publication.  The museum will apply for grants to create an interactive digital exhibit based on the work.  After that? There are plenty more ideas waiting to be implemented- not to mention almost another 4,000 photographs of rock art, Nazca Lines, and desert plants waiting to be scanned and create exciting, interesting, and beautiful exhibits!

A special thanks to Dr. David Breeckner, Angelina Coble, and Marcie Rodriguez for all their help with this project!

Marcie examines a slide

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Storerooms are Open!

By Dr. David Breeckner, Scholar-in-Residence

New exhibits are coming to the Imperial Valley Desert Museum, and with them comes a host of new artifacts and research. Beginning in September 2017, the museum is launching a series of mini-exhibits designed to engage patrons with previously-unseen materials from its curated collections.

These exhibits are designed to be small in size and duration, but echo with the weight of something far greater. Visitors will find one of our new display cases, full of new objects and research. These cases and their contents demonstrate specific themes and ideas, exploring the contents and nature of the museum's material collections. These exhibits are fleeting and designed to only be featured for a limited period.   

...But never fear! From the ashes of one exhibit, another will rise to take its place. The Imperial Valley Desert Museum hosts a variety of archaeological materials in the Imperial Valley College Collection: pottery, lithics, fossils, multimedia (photographs, audio, video), and much more. Our goal is to showcase parts of this collection as it is researched - interpreting and celebrating the landscape and culture of the Imperial Valley Desert region. With this new program, the IVDM aims to make accessible that which was previously stored, bringing our backrooms to the exhibit floor.

This week we've unveiled our first exhibit in this series: Ceramics of the Americas. This mini-exhibit celebrates the material culture of native peoples from outside our immediate region. Both this week and in the weeks to come, there is something new for everyone. We invite you to come by and answer the question yourself: what's the new thing at the museum now?