Kern County Museum Executive Director Mike McCoy has another huge project coming up on schedule – and he’s in desperate need of tech help.
“Everyone thinks Bakersfield Sound was a big project, and it was a big project,” he said. “But this Native American exhibit is going to be really big, and we’re going to wrap it up in the fall.”
So McCoy wrote a grant and hired two college history majors with local roots to handle the reams of research required. But he also needs it to digitize the museum’s huge collection of documents and photos.
“The Kern County Museum is pleased to announce that Ashleigh Meyers and Grace Eribarne will serve as Research Fellows in the Museum’s Curatorial Department for the summer of 2022,” McCoy said in a press release.
Meyers is a history student at St. Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula. Eribarne is a history major at Cal State Fullerton.
The 75-year-old museum, McCoy said, has become a center for historical documentation. It all started with the construction of the Bakersfield Californian Research Center in 2016, an air-conditioned building filled with historic documents and incredible photos.
According to McCoy, recent efforts to digitize the huge collection of documents and photos have generated a lot of interest from academics and requests for help from other museums and communities.
“A recent cooperative project on Chinese immigration with the Sun Yat Sen Library in Guangzhou, China, has proven that the museum’s collection deserves international notice,” McCoy said in its press release.
Meyers previously worked in the museum’s conservation department as an intern last year and returns this year as an “Arkelian Fellow”.
Supported by a grant from the Ben and Gladys Arkelian Foundation, Meyers will work with the museum’s historian on preparing Native American artifacts for the new Yokut Tejon Education Center, according to the release. She will also work on the digitization of the museum’s collection.
Meyers graduated in 2019 from Centennial High School and is expected to graduate from St. Thomas Aquinas College in 2023. She is the daughter of Paul and Melody Meyers of Bakersfield.
Eribarne will work at the museum as a “West Fellow” as his work will be supported by the Harry and Ethel West Foundation and will also focus on Native American research and chronicling the huge collection of historical artifacts, photos and documents. of the museum. Eribarne also graduated from Centennial in 2019 and is expected to graduate from Cal State Fullerton in 2023. She is the daughter of Cathy Eribarne and the late Joe Eribarne of Bakersfield.
McCoy said he was delighted to welcome two young historians to the museum’s research center this summer.
“This is important work,” he said, “and we are grateful to these two wonderful foundations for their support.”