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AMADOR COUNTY MUSEUM

Authority for Review

Grand Jury jurisdiction provided by Penal Code Section 925.

Background

Periodic review of County agencies.

Method of Review

Interview with Museum Coordinator
Interview with General Services Administration (GSA) Director
Interview with part-time Museum employee
Review of handwritten Museum inventory
On-site visit

Findings

The Amador County Museum is located on Church Street in Jackson. The Museum contains artifacts and documents of historical significance to the County. The main structure and grounds were purchased by the County from the heirs of the Brown family in 1949.

The roof of the main building is 20 or so years old. Water leakage has resulted in damage to items in one area. A preservation architect has recommended major repairs to the roof structure. An effort is made to keep the interior temperature around 60 degrees but there is no system for controlling humidity.

The Museum is run by the Museum Coordinator with the help of a part-time worker and volunteers.

Museum funding includes an annual budget of $90,000 supplemented by donations. Additional funding in the form of a grant is being sought.

There is an on-going project for restoring and refinishing the buildings. Most of the work is done by volunteer inmate crews from Mule Creek State Prison. The restoration project is under the supervision of the Museum Coordinator and a local restoration architect.

There is a working model of the Kennedy Mine located on the Museum grounds. Memorabilia from the Knight Foundry will be displayed in the mining room. The Foundry provided a donation to assist in developing this display.

There is a small gift shop which creates additional revenue and the Museum Coordinator plans to expand the shop and add additional merchandise.

The Museum had over 7000 visitors last year including 600 students. A donation of $1 is requested of all visitors.

The Museum Coordinator makes occasional historical presentations to students at their schools.

A closed circuit video system monitors the Museum interior. Outside security is maintained by occasional police patrol and an audible alarm system. There has been minor vandalism on the Museum grounds.

A handwritten inventory of artifacts is in the process of being completed. A copy of the inventory is kept at the GSA office.

The Museum accepts donations of historical artifacts but no longer accepts items on loan.

Conclusions

The Museum houses irreplaceable historical artifacts related to County history.

The roof and roof structure are badly in need of repair.

A climate control system would protect artifacts from varying temperature and humidity.

The Museum grounds are susceptible to vandalism.

Recommendations

Repair roof and supporting structure.

Install climate control system to prevent major damage to valuable and irreplaceable artifacts.

Improve grounds security to prevent vandalism.

Response Required

The Amador Grand Jury requests the Amador County Museum respond to this report within 90 days as required by California Penal Code Section 933(c).
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