GUTHRIE, Okla. (KFOR) — The Oklahoma Historical Society (OHS) has announced that the Oklahoma Territorial Museum (OTM) will be closed during the month of January for mold abatement.
“The museum has a mold problem and will be undergoing some serious and invasive housekeeping,” said Nathan Turner, OHS regional director. “No toxic or black mold has been found at the museum, but even non-toxic mold can cause a lot of damage to the building and artifacts, and it is not a healthy environment for the staff to continue working in.”
Inside the Territorial Museum, the first-floor gallery presents the story of the 1889 Land Run settling the Unassigned Lands. Upstairs contains the Life in the Territory gallery and the Statehood exhibit which tells the story of how Indian and Oklahoma Territories fused to become the State of Oklahoma in November 1907. And of course, the historic Carnegie Library, where the state of Oklahoma was born.
Officials say that though mold is an unwelcome and unexpected problem, staff members are viewing this as an opportunity to continue with improvements.
“This means the museum staff has to remove all artifacts to a safe location and clean every single item before rehousing and returning the item to the newly cleaned storage area,” said OTM Collections Curator Erin Brown.
While the staff members work on cleaning artifacts, the mold abatement crew will clean all office spaces. Furniture and other contents must be cleaned and scrubbed before returning to the fresh space to ensure that mold is not reintroduced.
“While all of this is going on, the museum staff will be unable to communicate quickly,” said Turner. “Once the offices are again set up and phones, computers and the internet are all up and running again, staff will respond to calls and emails as quickly as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience and will do our best to get things finished quickly. In the meantime, we ask for your patience and understanding.”
The public can keep up with the progress of the abatement through the museum’s Facebook page.