Conservation at the Lighthouse

Carefully cleaning an artifact.

Carefully cleaning an artifact.

By Jessica Hadus

Hi, I am Jessica. I am currently a senior at Flagler College. Over the summer semester I have been interning at the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum (SALH&M). During my internship I learned a lot of new things. I was introduced to PastPerfect. This is museum software that allows the digitization of artifacts that is accessible to be searched. Once I learned this software I was able to help enter archival information that has needed to be digitized.

Most of my work at SALH&M was devoted to helping with the plans for a new collections space. This didn’t just involve finding a location for collections, but also planning where the artifacts will go inside this location according to what is best for their continued care and conservation.

Other than these assignments, I have been helping out with the museum’s next exhibit project. SALH&M is working on a new interactive exhibit that goes back in time to when William Harn was the Head Keeper of the lighthouse and he and his family lived in the Keepers’ House. This exhibit will be in the restored Victorian Keepers’ House and will feature an interactive room where guests can pick a family member, the assistant keeper, or an archaeologist and be introduced to what that person would have been doing day to day in the late 1880’s Victorian era. This exhibit, At Home with the Harns, will be open this coming Fall.

The accordion in SAL&M collections.

The accordion in SAL&M collections.

Preparing for this exhibit, I was able to work on a few of the artifacts that will be featured. This included chairs, brass plates, an accordion, and various pieces of furniture. I learned a lot about chemistry and how it is important to be familiar with what materials you are working with in order to properly clean them without damage.

I plan on continuing to intern for SALH&M in the Fall to help execute plans for the new collections building as well as learning more about preparing the exhibit for its grand opening.


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