After all of the artifacts from the Lincoln Museum in Fort Wayne arrived at the Indiana State Museum at the beginning of June, museum employees began processing the collection. Each artifact in the Lincoln collection must be cataloged following museum standards in the Indiana State Museum database. Digital images are taken of each artifact that are then linked to the museum’s database. The current condition of each artifact is also accessed and any artifacts with urgent issues are immediately addressed. The final step in processing these artifacts before placing them into storage is physically numbering each artifact. Individual artifacts are assigned a unique accession number to track that piece in the database, to assist with the writing of the museum’s professional reports and to facilitate the development of related exhibitions. With several thousand artifacts to catalog, that is a huge project to complete.
Since the middle of June there have been several employees at the Indiana State Museum working diligently to process this wonderful collection. Meredith McGovern and Jeana Dallape are both collections management employees who are the principal people processing the collection. Jeana and Meredith have been working with four interns this summer, including Heather Lightfoot, who have assisted with processing the collection. Within the short time span of two months, close to 1,000 artifacts have already been completely processed into the museum’s permanent collection! A small sampling of these artifacts can be viewed on the museum’s web database by typing “Lincoln” in the search box.
The Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection was given to the State of Indiana in December 2008 by the Lincoln Financial Foundation. The Indiana State Museum is home to the historic objects and art while most of the books, documents and photographs reside at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne.