AKCHO Heritage Education Award Winner!
The Renton History Museum received a Heritage Education
Award on April 23 from the Association of King County Heritage Organizations
(AKCHO) for our 2012 exhibit, Two By Two: Students Reinterpret Renton
History. Two by Two was the Museum’s second collaborative
effort with Renton High School teacher Derek Smith and his students. The
exhibit used historic objects, students’ special mementos, and student essays
to explore Renton’s history from the perspective of Renton High’s diverse
student body. The AKCHO awards ceremony
was held at the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle, where Museum
Collection Manager Sarah Samson accepted the plaque for the Museum. Derek Smith and three of the participating
students—Kanishk Shukla, TaiJae Davis, and Hang Bui—also attended. To
give attendees a taste of the exhibit, Hang Bui read her moving essay comparing
children in Renton with her childhood memories of Vietnam.
We are very proud to be acknowledged by our peers in the museum
field! Thank you, AKCHO, and a special thanks to our partners at Renton
Volunteer Treasurer needed!
The Renton History Museum is looking for a Volunteer Treasurer to serve on the Board of Trustees. The Treasurer is a volunteer position responsible for creating quarterly financial reports and for working with the bookkeeper, Budget Committee, Endowment Committee, investment representative, and tax preparers on day-to-day financial needs, long-term planning and fundraising, and tax preparation. The Treasurer should have good accounting/bookkeeping skills, including knowledge of QuickBooks; some knowledge of federal, state, and local taxes; an attention to detail; and a willingness to learn about nonprofits. This position is a great opportunity to help the Renton History Museum succeed, build your resume, and work with a great group of community-minded trustees! Please contact Museum Director Liz Stewart by email or by phone (425.255.2330) to apply!
Late last year the Museum received a grant from 4Culture to inventory the artifacts stored on-site. The grant enabled the Museum to hire two interns from the University of Washington Museology program. Seema Gajria and Clare Tally-Foos work at the Museum two days a week poking through every box. Their internship lasts 10 weeks and throughout they will be publishing periodic blog posts about the interesting, perplexing, and sometimes even scary things they find.
January 25, 2013: Henry Moses' Coup Stick
February 19, 2013: Jayne's Expectorant
March 8, 2013: A Blast from the Past!
May 6, 2013: Brightly Colored and Well Worn
Museum Receives Grant to Digitize Audio and Film
The Renton History Museum has received grants from 4Culture and The Next Curve to digitize its collection of audio-taped oral histories and its collection of visual media (8mm, 16mm, Super 8, and video tapes). These collections are rich with visual and aural information, but because of their fragility they cannot be easily accessed by researchers or used to enhance exhibits and other programs. Many of the visual media have never been seen since they were donated, including rare footage of Renton's short-lived Aire Faire festival. Oral histories have been collected since 1966 and include interviews with former Mayor Barbara Shinpoch, an audio tour of the mine sites with a former coal miner, and rare recordings of Duwamish songs.
UPDATE: The second half of this project is underway! The film collection has been deposited with McKenna Video Services for digitization. The process is expected to take 6-8 weeks. Once we receive the digitized files we will share what secrets the Museum's film collection holds!
In late 2012 the Museum completed the digitization of the oral history cassette tapes. Since then, staff has processed the collection and has now listened to all the recordings. We now share some of the highlights of our discoveries in these blog posts:
January 15, 2013: A Fourth Generation Dairy Farmer
January 22, 2013: Oral History Through Song
January 29, 2013: All In The Family
February 5, 2013: Pioneer of Firsts
February 12, 2013: Inverted Triangle
Archived News Stories
Museum Receives 4Culture Collections Care Grant to Digitize Oversize Photographs
The Renton History Museum is the proud recipient of a 4Culture Heritage Collections Care Grant for 2010! The Museum received funding to complete the cataloguing of the entire Photograph Collection. The portion of the collection left to catalogue consists of all oversize photographs, numbering about 650.
The Museum’s Photograph Collection is the single most frequently used segment of the collection, by other museums, researchers, staff, and the public. The completion of this project will make these 650 “new” photographs available to those groups. The oversize photographs represent important Renton industries such as coal mining, clay and coal processing, and logging. A significant number of photos also show Renton schools and students. With the completion of these 650 photographs, all 14,500 of our historic photos will be catalogued and searchable from the Museum’s computers, with thumbnail scans available for viewing.
Read more about the project here:
May 20, 2011: Greggs Family with Bear, 1918
May 6, 2011: Renton Baseball Club, 1902
April 22, 2011: Lindbergh High School Cheer Squad, 1988-1989
April 8, 2011: Winner at Longacres Racetrack
March 25, 2011: Washington Lumber and Spar Company
March 3, 2011: Coal Miners of the New Diamond Mine
February 25, 2011: Denny-Renton Clay & Coal Co.
February 11, 2011: 1939 School Patrol
January 21, 2011: Williams family portrait
January 6, 2011: Ditlevsen & Mitchell (meats) and Higdon's Grocery
December 16, 2010: 1974-1975 City Parks & Recreation Basketball League
December 2, 2010: Renton High School Band, 1920
November 5, 2010: Coal Miners' Faces
Renton History Museum Welcomes Back Its Newly Reconstructed Coal Car
After eight months of research and hard work, the historic reconstruction of our coal car is complete! The project, funded by 4Culture, came to an end on August 26th when the coal car returned to Renton from the Conservation and Restoration Center of the Northwest Railway Museum in Snoqualmie. Renton History Museum staff and volunteers installed the coal car in the Museum's main gallery as an integral part of the When Coal Was King coal mining exhibit. Having been reconstructed and even correctly reengineered in some areas, the coal car now serves as a tangible reminder of Renton's coal mining roots.
The rescue of the coal car is the result of a constructive partnership between the Renton History Museum and the Northwest Railway Museum. When we discovered in late 2007 that our coal car had seriously deteriorated, we called upon the skills and knowledge of the NRM staff to help us return the car to its original shape. Thanks to grant funding, NRM staff was able to restore information about how coal cars were designed, built, and used in the mines by properly reconstructing its physical characteristics. You can revisit the progress of the project on the updates below, and see more photos at the Museum's Flickr album.
Read more about the project here:
January 25, 2008
February 11, 2008
February 25, 2008
March 10, 2008
March 14, 2008
April 8, 2008
May 20, 2008
May 30, 2008
June 2, 2008
July 16, 2008
Grant Funding Provided By:
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