May 7, 2018
The Ellettsville Parks Board met in a regular meeting on Monday, May 7, 2018, at the Town Hall Meeting Room located at 1150 W. Guy McCown Drive. Jimmie Durnil called the meeting to order at 5:32 p.m. and led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Members in Attendance
Present were Jimmie Durnil, President; Holly Nethery, Vice President; Claudetta Kelly and Amy Slabaugh. Carol Hoobyar resigned at the meeting on April 2, 2018.
Approval of Minutes
Jimmie Durnil entertained a motion to approve the minutes of April 2, 2018. There was a discussion on only receiving the signature page of the minutes. Holly Nethery made a motion to approve the minutes from last month. Amy Slabaugh seconded. Mr. Durnil said the motion for approval is contingent on his review of the minutes in their entirety as they only received the signature page. Motion carried.
Holly Nethery has a speaker for Memorial Day ceremony, MSgt. Ron Swindell, USMC, Ret. The essay contest has been announced at Ellettsville schools and the Boys and Girls Club and the deadline is May 18, 2018. Guidelines were changed to 350 to 500 words for grades 1 – 6 and 500 to 750 words for grades 7 – 12. She will get the prizes for the essay winners. Sara Cassidy will sing during the ceremony. Information will be published in The Ellettsville Journal. The ceremony will begin at 11:00 a.m. and last approximately 45 minutes. Can they use Old Town Hall if there is inclement weather? Mr. Durnil answered yes and he would need help to get it ready.
Jimmie Durnil explained the Street Department has cleared the brush on the southside of the parking lot for the Heritage Trail. Then, rock will go down for the base of the parking lot. If it is not blacktopped this year, it will be next year.
Jimmie Durnil introduced Zach Michael, an eight-year officer of the Police Department. Officer Michael is very interested in Ellettsville.
Zach Michael is originally from Hartford City, Indiana. After graduating from the Indiana University Police Academy in 2009, he came to Ellettsville in 2010 and lives in Prominence Pointe. He loves Ellettsville because it reminds him of his hometown and he is trying to get involved as much as he can. Mr. Durnil added Mr. Michael also serves on the Plan Commission.
Hilary Fleck, Collections Manager at the Monroe County History Center, and Susan Dyer, Director of the Monroe County History Center, visited Old Town Hall on April 20, 2018, to assess the current condition of objects in the Ellettsville history collection at the request of Mr. Durnil. Tiffany Willingham is a volunteer with the collection and voiced concerns about mold growth because of where it was previously stored. Items from the collection are housed in cardboard boxes, plastic totes and some are wrapped in additional plastic bags to protect the contents from mold damage. The majority of the items at this location were historic Ellettsville Journal newspapers, framed photographs and a small grouping of objects and textiles. The overall condition of the collection is good. The housing of the artifacts is the most pressing concern. In reviewing the items there are several cases of mold growth which at the time she saw them didn’t appear to be active. The collection should be kept at a cooler temperature between 65°F to 68°F and then 40% to 50% relative humidity to prevent the mold from growing and spreading. There were several objects with surface mold such as the cash register that can be easily cleaned. Photographs require more effort because the surface mold can be cleaned but they can’t repair them. A trained conservator with specialized equipment could repair the photographs. Textiles effected by mold would need further evaluation but believes such items as the Ellettsville band flag could be cleaned. Other items such as the senior corduroys couldn’t be easily cleaned because of how they are made and markers and paints have been added to them. If they are submersed in water the colors might run and damage the corduroys so she wouldn’t feel comfortable cleaning them. A majority of the collection reviewed were framed photographs and loose documents that would benefit from being re-housed. Suggestions are acid-free envelopes in archival boxes. Historic photograph frames are made from wood and often painted or varnished. Chemicals from the paint and varnish can bleed and damage the photograph. It’s not in the photograph’s best interest to remain framed and that also includes storage. It’s better to take it out of its frame and store in acid-free envelopes. Long exposure to light pollution also damages the molecular structure of some photographs. Her recommendation is to remove frames from all photographs and documents. Frames can be returned to donors. The frames can then be re-housed into envelopes and boxes to prevent further damage. The Monroe County History Center purchases envelopes and boxes from Gaylord Archival. It cost approximately $20 for 100 envelopes and $8 for one box.
Ellettsville newspapers were also reviewed. Newspapers are a difficult medium because they’re printed on mechanically pulped paper which has a very short fiber length and it removes the lignum from the wood which over time turns acidic and eats away at the paper. Newspaper is not going to stay around so the shelf life is about 50 years. If it’s in good condition and in a good storage environment it can last slightly longer. A lot of newspaper bulk collections have been translated into microfilm which is much easier to store. There is a push to digitize newspaper collections. A collection of microfilm newspapers can be found at the Monroe County Public Library and at the state library. Microfilm collections date back to 1872. It’s comprehensive and the early years have the most gaps. Her suggestion is to keep the newspapers not represented on microfilm and get them digitized and microfilmed. If it’s microfilmed elsewhere and not an anniversary or celebrating a large victory she wouldn’t recommend keeping the newspaper. The state library is pushing digitizing and make them available on a website, Hoosier Chronicles.
Overall, the collection is in really good condition and the priority should be re-housing the collection into archival safe materials and then inventory the collection into a list of where and who it came from. It’s her understanding there isn’t a clear ownership of the collection. The Monroe County Historical Society is a 501(c)(3), non-profit, and owns the Monroe County History Center’s collections. There could be legal issues if someone makes a donation and it is unclear who owns the history center. Once the inventory is completed, they need to find out who donated the items. Then, they will know what’s going on and can move forward with the collection. After they find out who donated the items they can identify taking care of them. If ownership is uncertain, they can’t send the item to a conservator as they are expensive.
Jimmie Durnil asked if they were aware of the items in the safe. Ms. Fleck answered no. Mr. Durnil stated there are two letter jackets and photos in the safe. Can Monroe County History Center help with some of the things that were mentioned? Ms. Fleck answered she can help clean the mold on some of the photos and documents. Mr. Durnil advised there may be funds available to reframe some of the photos. However, everything else will have to be done in-house. Ms. Nethery asked if there is a charge for their assistance. Ms. Fleck will assist with the basic cleaning. Ms. Nethery mentioned Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis has a Museum Studies Program. Should they also pursue this while working with the Monroe County History Center? Ms. Fleck thinks undergraduate and graduate help would be wonderful, however, a museum studies program is different than what Ellettsville needs. Library Sciences at Indiana University would be helpful with the inventory. Ms. Fleck will give them the contact information because she uses library interns all the time as they’re wonderful at cataloging. She prefers Masters of Library Science students doing their internship credit because it is 180 hours. Interns can also re-house the collection. Will the collection stay on the second-floor space of Old Town Hall? Mr. Durnil replied at this time. The History Center committee is on hold so the Parks Board is thinking about taking it over. Ms. Kelly is a member of the Ellettsville History Center committee and it is her understanding records were not kept for earlier donations. It would be difficult to find out who originally donated some of the items. She was told the collection belongs to the Collection Board. Mr. Durnil will meet with someone to find out if they will turn over the collection. He told Ms. Fleck she could start working at any time. They have funds available to start the process. Ms. Slabaugh is apprehensive because they don’t know who donated some of the items. Ms. Fleck suggested they have a signed letter advising the collection has been turned over to the Park Board because they could have the issue of someone wanting an item returned to them. For those items the donor is uncertain perhaps something could be posted online asking if anyone knows where it came from. Or, an open house could be held and items could be displayed asking people if they know who donated them. Ms. Nethery suggested they could document they made the effort. Mr. Durnil stated if the Ellettsville Historical Center board is interested in turning over the collection, he will talk to the Town Attorney. He requested Ms. Kelly provide him with a list of Ellettsville History Center board members who could sign a letter turning the collection over to the Parks Board. Ms. Nethery suggested Ellettsville History Center board members may want to be involved so their interest shouldn’t be diminished. Ms. Fleck will return to look at the items in the vault and bookcase.
Jimmie Durnil entertained a motion to adjourn the meeting. Holly Nethery made a motion to adjourn. Claudetta Kelly seconded. Motion carried. The meeting was adjourned at 6:12 p.m.