A Time Capsule: Packing the 2nd Floor

The museum collection at Harry S Truman NHS is a time capsule of personal items that once belonged to the Truman family. Thousands of personal items and furnishings remain in the home. In January 2009, the curatorial staff carefully inventoried, packed and moved the contents of each second floor room in preparation for the HVAC and fire suppression systems contract.

On the second floor, Bess Truman’s desk still contained her personal mementos and First Lady stationery. One could find Harry Truman’s argyle socks, monogrammed handkerchiefs and Top Brass cologne where he left them in his dressing room. Once packed, the artifacts were moved to our off-site storage facility where they will remain for the duration of the construction project.

Park Service curatorial staff spent more than 20 years cataloging artifacts from the Truman Home, assigning each with a unique catalog number and recording detailed descriptions and measurements. This catalog information provides accountability, making it easier to keep track of so many items. It is also used by park staff and researchers to learn more about the Truman family and how they lived.

Bess Truman's desk in second floor hall.
Bess Truman's desk before artifacts were packed for storage. The desk was made from original White House pine removed during the Truman era renovation. Furniture and souvenir items were made from the recycled wood.



Last updated: April 10, 2015

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