The Union County Museum is dedicated to preserving the rich heritage of this Northeast Oregon community, from the Native Americans to the early pioneers who passed through during the historic Oregon Trail migration. There is a livery station built from dismantled barns near North Powder and Cove. There is an exhibit on Hells Canyon Hat Point Lookout and the Catherine Creek River. More recently volunteers designed a mercantile exhibit using old photos so museum visitors can better understand what it was like to buy goods in 1890.
It’s a testament to the love this community has for its history. But to preserve that history they needed to block the damaging UV rays coming through the museum’s windows.
The museum is partially housed in a century-old bank building and some of the displays were getting blasted by the sun. A roll-down shade of plastic UV protective film had gone brittle and crumbled. Volunteers Sharon and Dick Hohstadt worried about the sun damaging historic photos and artifacts since they had already noticed fading.
They knew about Indow inserts because the First Christian Church in La Grande had already used them for its 14 stained glass windows to block drafts.
“We were so thrilled with them that Dick and I said ‘Let’s go with this for the museum too.’”
The museum purchased Museum Grade to block the UV light that was threatening the historical objects on display, although the inserts blocks all drafts too. A blue print fabric in one window hasn’t shown a hint of fading since the inserts went in.
It’s common for museums to worry about the sun damaging their collections and so Sharon talks to other curators and volunteers about Indow as a solution. She is particularly happy they’re nearly invisible when installed. They were pleased the Indow inserts could be made into special geometries to fit the historic arched windows.
A museum board member who had been away during the installation came in and asked, “Where are they?”
Said Sharon, “You don’t notice them at all.”
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