The water damage affected the roof of the Brownson House at the Shelton History Center —which was under repair — as well as the ceilings and walls of four front rooms, and its main collection storeroom in the basement.
So far, the Recovery from the Rain GoFundMe page has raised $950, but its goal is to hit $5,000.
The most delicate items in the collection at the 193-year-old house were damaged. While there are many papers housed in vertical files within cabinets, other odd-sized letters, diaries, scrapbooks and manuscripts are stored in document boxes that were on shelves in the main storeroom.
“It is unknown at this time how many of these boxes and their contents were damaged,” said Marty Coughlin, society president. “Right now, the curator, librarian, director, and volunteers are assessing to see what will have to be sent for conservation. It will be a very time-consuming process. There was at least one piece of furniture that was damaged as well.”
Professionals from other museums around the state have offered to assist with cleanup efforts. The buildings will be closed to visitors for the foreseeable future.
“More than ever right now, we need the community’s support,” says Tracey Tate, director of the society. “Hopefully insurance will take care of the repairs to the building, but for the documents and objects that need to be sent to professionals for conservation treatment, we hope our friends and neighbors will step in with donations to help. It’s these documents that tell the tales.”
Support for treatments to damaged collection items can also be sent to: Shelton Historical Society, P.O. Box 2155, Shelton, CT 06484. Make checks payable to "Shelton Historical Society" and mark checks “disaster relief.”
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