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Historical Society receives $2K grant

STANFORD — Preserving historical artifacts helps us to honor our culture’s past, but to preserve these artifacts it is important to have some method of storage to keep track of where they are located.

That was the dilemma facing Lincoln County Historical Society President Jane VanHook when the county took ownership of the William Whitley House in March of 2019 – finding a way to document artifacts within the property. So she sought advice from someone familiar with the issue.

“When we acquired the William Whitley House, I talked with the state museum curator and all of their information about all the artifacts all over the state is in a software program called PastPerfect, so she highly suggested that the county purchase that software,” she said.

With dollar signs flashing before her eyes, VanHook decided to write a grant to try and make PastPerfect a part of Lincoln County’s digital filing system with no cost to the county.

And she did. Amanda Higgins of the Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) presented the Lincoln County Historical Society with a $2,000 check to use for the purchase of PastPerfect at a recent Lincoln County Fiscal Court meeting.

“The best part of my job is giving away money,” said Higgins, Community Engagement Administrator with the KHS, who presented the check to Vanhook and Martha Francis, also a Lincoln County Historical Society member.

The PastPerfect software will be used to document not only the county’s artifacts but the City of Stanford’s as well.

“I’m excited about this,” said VanHook. “That saved the county $2,000 and provides a way for us to keep all the information on all the artifacts that the county and city owns. That way we’ll have records not only for insurance purposes, but also for information purposes.”

The PastPerfect Museum software is designed for museums, but is also used by various institutions, including libraries, archives, and natural history collections, for the database storage of artifacts, documents, photographs and books.

Lincoln County Judge Executive Jim W. Adams Jr. expressed his gratitude for the Lincoln County Historical Society’s work on the county’s behalf.

“We are most appreciative of Jane’s work and the historical society and Martha for their efforts,” he said. “It (PastPerfect) is a very useful tool because you can get on there and look to see what artifacts are where so, if you are planning a day trip in Kentucky and you want to take a look at something … maybe this will add more tourism for the William Whitley House and the City of Stanford.”