|The eclectic holdings of the Fairbanks Museum have attained critical mass here in the 21st century. The Museum takes its charge seriously to preserve and protect thousands of natural history specimens and artifacts for generations to come. Many pieces in our collections are sensitive and require strict condition controls that maintain relatively low changes in temperature and humidity.|
The Victorian era gave birth to the cabinet of curiosities, which every gentleman of means wished to acquire. Franklin Fairbanks was no different in his desire to amass newly discovered oddities from around the globe; but what made him unique was his deep appreciation for the natural world and his desire to share it with the community that advanced his wealth. Thanks to Franklin's initiative, we are very lucky to have a beautiful Romanesque stone building listed on the National Register of Historic Places, with fine wood interior and display cases that ideally reflect the wonders of a bygone era. Unfortunately, many exhibit objects from Franklin's day have lost their former brilliance due to erratic environmental conditions and the deferral of expensive improvements. Museums around the globe are suffering from the extraordinary impact of rampant inflation, being forced to rethink their perspective on collecting and accessioning objects in an all-too-finite world.
Here at the Fairbanks Museum, we are carefully taking inventory of our holdings: assessing their relevance to our mission, tracking down provenance and other related data, cataloguing and digitally recording each object into a collections database that will be accessible in one central resource bank. Collection committees have been organized to review specific aspects of the collections to help determine those objects which do not serve our mission and where they would best serve the public as a whole. It is our desire to retain a collection of specimens and objects that are the finest representatives of the Fairbanks legacy, the Victorian era, and the special qualities and history of the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.
The inventory and evaluation of collections is an ongoing process in most museums, and the Fairbanks Museum is no exception. Our goal is to house all of our collections under one roof and to care for them so that they continue to inspire, engage and delight everyone who passes through the doors.