This past Saturday, the LEAP Ambassadors were called on to do some very special volunteer at the Wynne Home.
Recently, the Wynne Home found boxes of special material. These special items required proper preservation and cataloging. Most of these artifacts belonged to the Wynne family, and the combination of volunteerism and education made us happy to help.
We began our beautiful Saturday morning with coffee and pastries, courtesy of Dr. Ralph Pease. This breakfast was accompanied by pleasant conversations before getting started with a tour of the Wynne Home, one led by Victoria Mcclendon-Leggett. Victoria is a former intern and frequent volunteer for the Wynne Home. She proved her knowledge with interesting facts about special items around the home, as well as fascinating background on the Wynne family that proved helpful during our archiving.
Next, we moved to the fun work. Brian, as the current Wynne Home intern, explained our duties at each different station.
Each station had specific tasks: (1) cataloguing letters dating back to the 1800s; (2) sleeving nitrate film that was potentially explosive;
(3) and protecting newspaper articles, many of them featuring the work of Samuella Palmer; and
(4) foamboarding labels for the home’s many artifacts.
While volunteerism is part of the LEAP Center mission, education is, too. And the day was nothing if not educational. We learned about the history of Huntsville, but we learned it through a unique perspective: the view from two leading families in the community. John Thomason III married Ruth Wynne, and their letters to their family (and to each other) offered a unique take on community happenings.
The learning also involved the news of the day on a more global level. When the Thomasons went to India, for example, Mr. Thomason interviewed Ghandi. Knowing that, we searched the photos we were cataloging for photos of the meeting. Despite a fruitless search for that, we did find much else of interest in the photos.
Finally, we are group that visits many museums and historic homes, but we typically see the artifacts on display–not behind the scenes. Today’s volunteerism allowed us to see the work that goes into such venues, while also learning of the special care that artifacts need to be preserved.
And, of course, it was an opportunity for our group to come together in the summer–when our get togethers are more rare–and to visit with the Peases, who joined us for lunch. It was a day of good company and education, with much accomplished!