County museum receives grant

The Johnson County Museum of History is upgrading its preservation tools, thanks to a grant.

The museum in Franklin received a grant of $2,649 from the Indiana Historical Society to purchase a new scanner that will be used to digitize images in its large paper collection, such as maps and other two-dimensional artifacts. The new scanner also will create color images and do damage restoration.

“All of our two-dimensional objects — photographs, records of any kind — we do scan and enter into a catalog program,” museum director David Pfeiffer said. “We had a relatively small scanner and a lot of the photos and objects are much larger, so instead of having (small resolution) we’ll have a nice, high-resolution image.”

The museum houses more than 57,000 objects, photos and documents including letters, World War II ration books for food and gasoline, broad-side ads for the Franklin Opera House, old sheet music and other items. They are stored in acid-free folders in a temperature and humidity-controlled environment at the museum. The scanner will allow all those items to be backed up digitally.

The images will be ideal for future museum exhibits. Last year, the Johnson County Community Foundation awarded a grant for an oversize printer. The scanner and printer can be used to create even more comprehensive exhibits, Pfeiffer said.

In addition, the images can be used when looking up information for people who are doing research, such as for land titles or other documents.

The museum is one of the first recipients of a Heritage Support Grant, created by the Indiana Historical Society in honor of the state’s bicentennial to support organizations that preserve history throughout Indiana.

The museum is one of 25 organizations recognized with the first round of the grants, which were made possible by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. Grant recipients also receive coaching and grant writing assistance.

Applications are being accepted through today for the next cycle of Heritage Support Grants.

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Anna Herkamp is an editorial assistant at the Daily Journal. She can be reached at or 317-736-2712.