Museum volunteer helps preserve historic Lincoln

Who's Who
By: Carol Percy, Reporter Lincoln News Messenger
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Name: Karen (Boyden) Crum

Age: 63 (1967 Lincoln High School graduate)

Occupation: Retired research specialist with the state of California

Family: Husband, two adult sons and four grandchildren


What brought you to the Archives?

I was asked to help with a computer program, a museum-cataloging database that inventories all the belongings at the museum. The goal is to get everything cataloged and into the computer system so that it will be available to the public and so that we can keep track of what we have.

It’s really fun. When things come in, we have to take photos of them and enter the descriptions, origin, and category (military, farm, household). It’s a continuing job because we have things in storage and in file cabinets that aren’t even in the museum — photos and information about people, events and buildings. We’re working on a historic building survey. There are 250 historical buildings in Lincoln that are being reviewed. We need to record and preserve data before it’s lost.

What interests you most about the work?

I think just being able to help preserve the town’s history. For example, the Bay Bridge in San Francisco had white terra-cotta tiles that were made at the Gladding, McBean factory. They were used as lane markers in 1936. They were dug up in 2009 and a man donated them to the museum. And we were given a scrapbook full of articles and pictures about Mable D. Ahart. She was the head of the Children’s Conference for the Daughters of the American Revolution. President Hoover invited her to the White House in the 1930s.

What’s your favorite exhibit?

The old kitchen exhibit. It’s like you’ve stepped into an old farm kitchen like the one in my grandparents’ farmhouse on Moore Road. The house originally belonged to my great-grandfather in the late 1800s.

What are the advantages of volunteering and what kinds of duties are available?

You get to learn more about Lincoln. A lot of volunteers are like me. They have ties to pioneer families and then there are some who are new residents who just want to learn about the town they’ve adopted. Volunteers do everything here from housekeeping, to office work to docent tours. Some people just donate money. We try to fit the person’s interests and abilities to the needs of the museum.

To find out more about the Lincoln Area Archives Museum, call 645-3800. The museum is at the old City Hall’s first floor at 640 Fifth St.

If you would like to see a neighbor or friend featured here, please e-mail or call Carol Percy at 774-7967.