The North Olympic History Center welcomes David Brownell as its new Executive Director. Since 2018 David has been serving as the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe. He has been the Tribe’s point of contact on historic and cultural resources. David has also served on the Clallam County Heritage Advisory Board since 2019.
Growing up with a father contracted to the Air Force, David Brownell spent a lot of time moving from one military base to another, spending time in Ohio, Florida, South Carolina, Texas and overseas in Ankara, Turkey and Florence, Italy. “These childhood experiences spurred my interest in history and cultures, and later in my graduate studies”, said David. David received his B.A. in history from Hanover College in 2009 and his M.A. in Public History from Wright State University in 2011. He was employed as Research Coordinator at Seminole Tribe of Florida’s Tribal Historic Preservation Office prior to moving to WA to work for the Jamestown Tribe.
David and his wife Emma, a Tribal Citizen of the Jamestown Tribe, own a small farm in Sequim where they raise dairy goats, Kunekune pigs, and chickens. When they aren't busy on the farm, David and Emma love hiking and exploring the Peninsula with their dogs Atlas and Prairie.
Early this summer, the North Olympic History Center was awarded a Heritage Grant by the Board of County Commissioners. The amount of the grant, $17,500, will largely fund the "Cloud Project". This major initiative will convert much of our archival and records collections into digital format.
The first element of the project was to select the software program to be used. There are few programs that closely compete with Past Perfect Museum Software. Since 2012, NOHC has used Past Perfect museum software to catalog the archival collection of approximately 13,000 items. Only recently has Past Perfect been undated to become web-based, meaning that any computer with an internet connection can be used to input information into the database, and ultimately to perform searches on that data. This is important to facilitate work other than on a local computer server. Of significance is that data is backed up remotely and cannot be lost in the event of a local catrastrophic event.
After making the decision to use Past Perfect Web-based edition, the need to "cleanse" the current database became imperative to eventually convert to the Past Perfect Web Edition. Cleansing entails fixing broken links, removing obsolete and out of date records, and other technical issues. This process was begun in late spring and is expected to be complete in early fall. In the meantime, new computer equipment is being purchased in preparation of transitioning to the new web-based program and inputing data.
We are extremely grateful for our volunteer, Eve Datisman, for working on "Cleansing the database."
Until now, researchers have had to come to the NOHC Research Library, or correspond to have questions on local history answered. The artifact collection was accessible only to those willing to make special arrangements. The Cloud Project will provide access to much of our collection on-line. The public will be able to search various categories to find items of interest. In this way, the collection will be accessible to anyone with access to the internet.
After the databas cleanse is complete, and the web-based software is tested, the major project of adding records into the database will begin. This will be a never-ending project as objects and records of historical significance are continually added to the collections. Eventually, the on-line collection can be used to develop exhibits for a virtual museum.
As of Tuesday, Augut 10, 2021, the NOHC Research Library is open for visitors on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, and otherwise by arrangement. Considering concerns for Covid variants, we request that you wear a mask during your visit. Contact the center to ensure that staff will be present upon your arrival
Your Historical Society connects you:
- To the rich history of Clallam County with educational programs like History Tales and other events
- Honors personal histories by collecting, preserving, and sharing
- Makes history a family affair with the Hands on History Program for students in grades 6 - 12
- Helps you find the answers to your questions with a staffed Research Library
- Makes history accessible with programs featuring the collectoin's artifacts
Join us and get connected!
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