Volume 1, No. 3

South Florida Collections Management Center

Re:Collections

Spring 2011

Exhibits at the Big Cypress National Preserve Welcome Center

What’s New . . .

BICY Welcome Center Exhibits

Preserve staff has developed new exhibits at the Big Cypress National Preserve Welcome Center. Interactive displays on alligators and water were added to exterior breezeways, while historic objects are found in an exhibit case inside. And there is a gift shop! SFCMC staff coordinated installation of museum objects into the display, including a rifle, a saw, and a 19’ Seminole dugout canoe. The canoe, made on the Big Cypress Reservation in the 1970s, is currently on loan from the Government House Museum in St. Augustine, FL via the University of Florida but will eventually become part of the BICY museum collection. Stop by and check it out!

Strategic Plan Update

As reported in the Fall 2010 edition of Re:Collections, the SFCMC in conducting a strategic planning process. For those of you eagerly awaiting release of the draft SFCMC’s strategic plan, we have to report that Nancy missed the March 31, 2011 deadline for distribution of the draft plan. (She is such a slacker). She is actively working on it, however, among other program needs. The revised distribution date is May 31, 2001—so she says!

Cheryl Price

SFCMC Staff Spotlight

The South Florida Collections Management Center welcomes new archives volunteers Deb Wood and Cheryl Price!

Cheryl Price is currently taking classes in public history and museum studies at Florida International University (FIU), and enjoys visiting parks, reading, hiking, and spending time with family. Her first visit to Everglades National Park was in 1975, and she has been a frequent visitor ever since. Cheryl began volunteering in April and is “excited about volunteering at the SFCMC because it gives me a chance to combine my two interests of history and the national parks.” Deb Wood (not pictured) is pursuing a graduate degree in public history from FIU and previously volunteered at the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society. She began volunteering in January and her current project involves scanning slides from the Dr. William B. Robertson, Jr. Papers.

Strategic Plan Update

As reported in the Fall 2010 edition of Re:Collections, the SFCMC in conducting a strategic planning process. For those of you eagerly awaiting release of the draft SFCMC’s strategic plan, we have to report that Nancy missed the March 31, 2011 deadline for distribution of the draft plan. (She is such a slacker). She is actively working on it, however, among other program needs. The revised distribution date is May 31, 2001—so she says!

New museum exhibit at Dry Tortugas National Park

DRTO Exhibit Upgrades

In February 2011, new museum exhibits were installed at DRTO. Funding for conservation grade exhibit cases was received from the Recovery Act (ARRA) and the opportunity was used to create and install new in-house exhibits. Additional artifacts from museum storage were added & new labels were created to provide historical information and context. There is still work to do to complete the exhibit & re-do text panels, but feedback so far has been positive. Special thanks to Tree Gottshall & the other DRTO staff who helped with the installation!

Cannon being moved from the Biscayne National Park to the collections center

Collection Corner

On February 14th, a c.3,000 lb. cannon from the H.M.S. Fowey (BISC 3807) was successfully moved to the SFCMC from Biscayne National Park. The cannon, which was recently returned from conservation treatment, will be in storage until an appropriate exhibit space can be created at the park. The SFCMC used soft, high capacity slings to protect the conservation coatings during lifting. Lacking an overhead crane, two engine hoists were used to lift and move the cannon once inside. The second Fowey cannon was also treated and is now in storage at SEAC in Tallahassee, FL. Special thanks to Colin Johnson (EVER supply technician & expert forklift operator), Chuck Lawson (BISC archaeologist & cultural resource manager) and Paul O’Dell (EVER archeological technician) for assisting with the complicated move.

DESO Exhibit Cases

New exhibit cases for DESO’s visitor center were delayed due to manufacturing issues but they were installed on April 19th. This project will be featured in an upcoming Re:Collections. Thanks to Scott Pardue & the DESO staff for their hard work and patience.

Historian Bob Blythe
Robert “Bob” Blythe. In a previous life, Bob was the Southeast regional historian

Archives

As part of our efforts to make park archives more accessible the Dr. William B. Robertson, Jr. Papers are being digitized for access and microfilmed for preservation. The SFCMC has been working with Hartrampf, Inc. to film Dr. Robertson’s collection, which spans over forty years of his life’s work, and measures 109 linear feet! Although his papers are largely focused on ornithology, Dr. Robertson also played a major role in defining the role of fire in the Everglades ecosystem. As a research biologist, Dr. Robertson's significant contributions to the field of ornithology included research and publications on the migratory tern populations at Dry Tortugas, population ecology of wading birds, nesting habits of bald eagles, as well as field work on population trends in roseate spoonbills and seabirds. Of particular note in this collection is a 1955 copy of Dr. Robertson's dissertation, An Analysis of the Breeding Bird Populations in Tropical Florida in Relation to the Vegetation.

Archives In Action

The SFCMC staff enjoys working with Historian Bob Blythe as he continues his research to prepare an administrative history for EVER. Bob’s work has brought him to the National Archives, the special collections at three Florida universities, the Southeast Archeological Center, and back to the SFCMC many times. Bob’s next visit to the park will be during the week of May 23, 2011 when he hopes to interview several park employees.
Hand holding hammer

Research Permits Meeting

On March 22nd permit coordinators for Everglades, Dry Tortugas & Biscayne National Parks and Big Cypress National Preserve met with SFCMC staff members to discuss permit deliverables from the museum perspective. Participants were PJ Walker, Chuck Lawson, Jacqueline Ayala, Steve Schulz, Nancy Russell, Bonnie Ciolino, Jennifer Stafford and Siobhan Millar. Topics discussed included a review of existing protocols; accessioning; science records archives hierarchies; the process of how deliverables are added to the park collections; cataloging of specimens; permittee non-compliance; and work strategies for more effective partnerships between the permit coordinator offices and the SFCMC. Jennifer (“the hammer”) and Siobhan are actively following up with delinquent permittees, with the support of the permit coordinators.

Last updated: February 6, 2018