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Minutes of the Board of Directors Rankin County Historical Society July 19, 2013

The board of directors met at 9:30 A.M. on Friday, July 19, 2013, at the home of Anne Vanderleest, president. Present were Ms. Vanderleest; Paul Davis, vice president; Ron Thornton, treasurer; James Gould, member at large; and Joan Singletary, secretary. Absent were Mary Lou Ayers, member at large; and Mel Corley, former president.

Website: Joan made a report on the website. A brief survey has been added to the site to aid in determining what and why visits are made to the site, what visitors are searching for, what they like or don’t like about the site. RCHS members are asked not to take the survey more than once though other visitors are encouraged to return if their needs change.

Thanks go to Mel Corley who is keeping the website calendar up to date.

A notation that the Museum Buildings will be opened by appointment has been added to the site. Joan will make a temporary sign to be placed on the museum listing emergency contact information and appointments to visit. Listed will be the phone numbers of the Brandon Library as well as Anne’s cell. Agreeing to assist visitors in addition to Anne, are Joan, Paul, and James.

Heritage Day: E-mail messages were sent by Joan to the 24 e-mail addresses of those who signed up for further information about our organizations (RCHS and Library) during Heritage Day. They were thanked for making the day a success, invited to meetings and e-mailed a copy of the July Newsletter this week. No responses have been received, but they now know of our organization.

Newsletter: A newsletter was prepared by Joan and placed in the mail to all members on Tuesday the 16th. Thanks to Carla Davis for their help stuffing, addressing and stamping.

Shiloh Methodist Digitalization: Ron Thornton and Harry Black spent several hours at Shiloh UMC to complete the society’s efforts to help preserve their records. In 2012 RCHS undertook the scanning of pictures and documents from the church and campground that had no backup for the originals. Ron and Harry have now photographed the Shiloh ledgers and records through 1942. The decision was made to stop at the year 1942 to protect the privacy of those named in the records.

Paul Davis mentioned he has an unused copy stand that might be of help to Harry and will contact Harry to see if the stand might be useful to him in his scanning.

Civic Clubs: Ron found a website that lists many service non-profit organizations of Rankin County – http://www.charityblossom.org/directory/MS/Brandon. Ron compiled a list of service organization in Rankin County and Joan will prepare a contact list for civic organizations and check about adding RCHS to the “charityblossom” website. She will draw up a letter for the various clubs to tell them about our organization and will offer to present a program for one of their meetings. Anne will prepare a three panel board that can be used at meetings.

Cemetery Books: James had contacted two groups asking the possibility of their mass marketing the Volume II cemetery books. Pioneer Publishing in Carrollton, Mississippi, Betty Wiltshire; and J & W Enterprises in Athens, Louisiana. Each asked that we send a copy of the book to them to evaluate before they could make a decision. Each will accept only 10-15 books to market. Mel will be asked to send one copy of each of three publications (Volumes I and II of the history books and Volume II of the cemetery book) to Pioneer and J & W. James suggested we be sure that all libraries in Rankin County have copies of the books. Commission for Pioneer will be 25% and J & W is 40%.

County Ledgers: James contacted David Marrow about the ledgers that RCHS had been given; the county will accept them. The ledgers are currently stored in the county storage building (on Marquette Drive) in our society’s storage area; when time permits we will move them into the county area and let David know where they may be found.

Girl Scout Project: Anne reported that the Girl Scout seeking to earn her Gold Award has submitted her project to be approved. She will be digitizing the minutes of the RCHS and organizing files from previous years. The Girl Scout Council will begin their review in July.

History Students: Anne will meet next week with Rebecca Fairly Blakeney, niece of Dan Fairly and head of the history department at Brandon High School. Rebecca and Anne will discuss if history students can be involved in some way with our society; specifically, what type of history displays would they like to see and how to interest the students in attending Heritage Day, and how best to excite and inform them about Rankin County History.

CALENDAR: Membership Meeting: James will be the speaker at the combined meeting with the Brandon Genealogical and History Society on Tuesday, July 23, at 7:00 P.M. at the Brandon Library. James’ topic will be “Stories from the Great Depression”.

Needs for the meeting include:

      Name tags

      Financial Report

      Chairs, tables and speaker setup

      Refreshments

      Membership forms

      BGHS meeting

      Newsletter and reminder notices mailed

Field Trip: Paul has made arrangements for a field trip on Thursday, September 19, to the Mississippi State Hospital and the Florence Heritage House. We will meet at the Brandon Library at 9:30 A.M. to carpool, going first to the State Hospital. This tour will take about two hours. Lunch will be available in their cafeteria. We will arrive for the visit to Florence Heritage House between 1:30 and 2:00 P.M. after the hospital tour. A count of those planning to attend will be needed for the hospital tour for transportation around the grounds plus the number planning to eat in the cafeteria.

General Membership Meetings: The next meeting will be hosted by BGHS on September 24. RCHS will host the November 26 meeting. As soon as Piney Woods School reopens, Joan will contact the leader of the choral groups to see if they can perform at the November meeting.

Antiques Showcase: Anne Stratton plans to return to Brandon this fall and has offered to present an Antiques Showcase on October 26 – the offer was enthusiastically accepted by the board.

Financial Report: Ron presented a financial report for the RCHS for the previous five years (copy attached).

Open House: Anne asked about having open house for the museum during the month of October. Paul said he is willing to host open house for a couple of weekends during October. He will ask for help in keeping the museum open during the next meeting on July 23. (  We will use James suggested that we each be responsible for a day in conducting inventory and cleaning out museum and its storage building while open for “open house”)

Board Meeting: The date of the next board meeting will be held either August 16 or 21 at 9:30 A.M. at the library depending on the schedules of a couple of the board members. Final decision will be made later.

Goal Planning: This had been discussed at the previous board meeting. The five goals set by the board, in order of importance for the Museum, were:

  1. 1.      Inventory
  2. 2.      Displays
  3. 3.      Painting
  4. 4.      Community Support
  5. 5.      Membership Involvement and Recruiting

All board members have agreed that the first thing we need is a complete up-to-date inventory of our museum holdings. Last year Allie Otting, in earning her Girl Scout Gold Award, recorded in an Excel spreadsheet all notations that were found in RCHS records of items loaned or given to RCHS for the museum. Labels were prepared with accession numbers and description of each item as listed on those “inventory” sheets. There were many items that could not be found in either the store or house at that time.

Anne suggested we use “Open House” on Saturdays and Sundays in October as a time we get together and address the inventory issues since we will be there to open the buildings to the public. We will clean that first Friday or Saturday in October, if needed, to be more presentable to the public. In regards to the inventory, James suggested we put a removable label on each item we identify, find it on our present inventory sheet and then assign it a number. This will solve the confusion we incurred in attempting to do inventory last spring. This is not an accession number. Anne also suggested that we might need help from others to remove some of the items. The suggestion was made that we clean out the office storage building to use as temporary storage as decisions as made about the use of each item. It would also be possible to use the children’s room in the house to store items that need to be moved temporarily, depending on our plans for future exhibits. Members will need to work on determining where items listed on the “inventory sheets” are now – have they been lost, returned to donor, or some other possibility. As we work to make our museum a Rankin County museum each item will need to be classified as being of museum quality or as a prop.

Paul will assist in deciding the taxonomy (practice and science of classification) for the museum.

Software for inventory of the items held by the museum was discussed. James will study the free inventory software programs available such as www. musarch.com. His daughter and son-in-law work with databases; he will ask their opinion of available software.

Time did not permit further discussion of displays. Anne had pulled together a list of suggested display ideas from the ideas submitted by board members and presented a copy to each member for further discussion. “To Do” list for all members compiled during the meeting will be submitted to each member via e-mail.

The meeting adjourned at 12:15 P.M.

Respectfully submitted Joan Singletary, Secretary

Attachments: Treasurers Report

 

 

Treasurer’s Report for July 19, 2013

We have compared the amount of money the society had at the end of each fiscal year starting December 31, 2007 to December 31, 2012 and have found that the funds have dropped from $16, 173.15 in 2007 to $8,265.70 in 2012. A number of factors have contributed to the decline, including purchase of a laptop computer for record keeping, a camera and tripod for scanning historical records and recording events such as Heritage Day, renting a storage unit to preserve history books and other club records and filing cabinets in which to store our records.

We have recently found a less expensive storage unit for our records and have discontinued Stephens Printing Service who printed the yearly calendars that we once sold. The last two years the total funds have been around $8,000.00 indicating that sales and expenses have leveled off.

Our current total is $7,679.66.

Total money on hand for the previous 5 years ending December 31 of each year

12/31/2007                  $16,173.15

12/31/2008                  $13,122.63

12/31/2009                  $10,908.12

12/31/2010                  $10,096.80

12/31/2011                  $8,444.66

12/31/2012                  $8,265.70