Earl Scruggs Center and Gardner-Webb University Announce Collaboration on New Course

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Center’s Expertise Utilized for Fall 2015 “Introduction to Collections Management” Class 

SHELBY, N.C. – The Earl Scruggs Center is proud to partner with Gardner-Webb University’s Department of Social Sciences for a unique class on museum collections management, instructed by Annmarie Reiley-Kay, who formerly served as curator for the Center.

“Gardner-Webb has spent the last two years exploring opportunities for students to gain entry into museum careers.  A large part of that decision was driven by knowing they could gain exposure to a world-class cultural museum right in our own back yard,” said Dr. Joseph Moore, assistant professor of history at the University.

The course serves as an introduction to collections care in museums and discusses issues that museum staff members face every day. GWU student Elisabeth Moore believes the class has provided participants with a variety of information relevant to public history.  “We’ve discussed everything from legal procedures to insurance matters to pest control,” she offered. “Each of these things can drastically impact the overall function of a museum.”

During three of the class sessions, students will be working with Earl Scruggs Center Curator and Collections Manager Adrienne Nirdé.  In addition to the center’s collection, Nirdé oversees the care and management of the Cleveland County Historical Collection in an offsite facility where she and the students will be completing their work. Students will gain valuable experience working with artifacts to complete condition reports, rehousing with archivally safe materials, and photographing for the collection’s database.  According to Nirdé, such work is vital to the preservation of museum collections so that they can be continuously enjoyed and utilized for years to come as a source of learning.

“I am able to add so much experience to my resume before I even graduate with my bachelor’s degree,” said GWU senior Sarah Lynch. “This course has reinforced and added to my excitement about a future career in the field, as well as to my qualifications to one day enter the field.  The opportunity to take this class as an undergraduate is helpful for making a decision about a future career, as well as offering a good working knowledge on how museums work.  I am very thankful that Gardner-Webb has made this experience a reality for me.”

In the coming weeks, the class will also feature sessions on the Biltmore House, the Kings Mountain Historical Museum, and the Boiling Springs Museum. Additional information on this class and others is available at Gardner-Webb.edu.

For more information about the Earl Scruggs Center please call 704-487-6233 or visit EarlScruggsCenter.org.  The Center is free to Cleveland County residents with valid ID on Wednesdays. Regular hours of operation are Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The Earl Scruggs Center is a project of Destination Cleveland County, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)3 whose mission is to unite our county’s history, heritage, culture and arts to create a vibrant economy while embracing the future and preserving the past.

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University provides exceptional educational opportunities within a Christian environment, preparing students to think critically, to succeed professionally, and to serve faithfully as members of their local and global communities.