If you’ve stopped by the Archives in the last week, you’ve probably seen (or tripped over) the latest addition to the Reading Room.
While it may not look like much right now, the case will soon give us a snazzy new place to show off records from the collection. The case has had quite a bit of experience displaying treasures before it came to us. Originally built to house a shoe exhibit in the Wyoming State Museum, the case most recently held the beautiful USS Wyoming silver service before the silver was moved to a built-in case.
After a couple of years in storage, the case needs a little TLC, but we think it will be a wonderful new complement to the small case we currently use. The new case will also give us the opportunity to display larger items that didn’t fit well into the old case, like maps, albums and ledger books.
To spruce it up, we’ve polished and oiled the base, purchased a brand new Plexiglass vitrine (complete with a UV limiting coating, of course) and some beautiful new fabric to replace the blue velvet. But all this newness could spell trouble for the documents on display if we aren’t careful. New materials tend to “off gas,” or give off fumes that are potentially harmful to paper, especially in an enclosed box like a display case. Over time, the fumes subside, so we are giving the new materials a bit of time to air out before installing the exhibit. We’ll keep you posted on the progress, so check back soon!