On April 16, the Berks History Center accepted an Institutional Achievement Award from PA Museums, Pennsylvania’s statewide trade association serving museum professionals and institutions, at PA Museum’s Annual Conference in State College, PA.

The 2018 Institutional Achievement Award recognized BHC’s Collections Management Project, an initiative that aimed to inventory, organize, and evaluate the BHC’s entire collection of museum artifacts.

The project began in August 2016 and was led by Bradley K. Smith, former Senior Curator of the Pennsylvania State Museum. The project involved several phases beginning with an inventory of the entire collection, a process that took several months and revealed nearly 30,000 artifacts. Through the generous support of the Edwin Barbey Charitable Trust and other friends of the BHC, the project was completed at the end of 2017 and has improved the BHC’s knowledge of exactly what artifacts are in the collection, where they came from, how they were used, and where they are currently stored.

The BHC’s Collections Management Project was one of several institutional leaps at the BHC in recent years and the initiative now serves as a springboard for ongoing improvements in the BHC’s collections management practices. By getting our collections organized, we are becoming fully equipped to tell more accurate, relevant stories about the history that matters most to Berks County.

The Berks History Center was one of nine museums and historical societies to receive the Institutional Achievement Award, which was presented to Executive Director, Sime Bertolet and Curator, Bradley K. Smith on April 16.

“We are proud to be recognized by our peers for our accomplishments and the work that we have done to further the mission of the Berks History Center. This is the first time in the BHC’s 149 year history that an initiative such as this has been successfully carried out. Reaching this milestone will help to ensure that we can preserve and share Berks County’s history for generations to come,” says Executive Director, Sime Bertolet. “We couldn’t have achieved this award without the hard work of our staff and volunteers and the support of the Edwin Barbey Charitable Trust. We are deeply grateful for the Trust’s commitment to our mission for preserving Berks County’s historic legacy.”

The Berks History Center will continue to share updates and information from the Collections Management Project with supporters and friends throughout the year. Members of the Berks History Center are invited to attend a special presentation about the project on June 2, 2018. The event will include a behind the scenes tour of the museum collections with BHC Curator Bradley K. Smith.

For more information, please call Alexis Campbell at 610-375-4375 or email publicity@berkshistory.org.

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