Staff members at the Cumberland Museum have unearthed some treasures from the basement that have not seen the light of day for years — in some cases decades.
Unusual medial equipment, secret society ritual tools, fossils, vases, pipes, instruments, dolls, painted fungi and various mystery objects are among items that have been dropped off over the years.
Other gems uncovered in an inventory project include Chinese pottery, a Japanese kimono, bamboo bongs, a tincture of Tiger Bone and a Second World War-era gas mask.
The museum is hosting a ‘Century Sale’ at the end of the month.
“We’re selling all of the items that we’re removing from the collection,” museum curator Toni Lin said.
For several months Lin and summer staffers have been sifting and sorting thousands of items in search of treasures connected to Cumberland’s past.
“Over the past 32 years the Cumberland Museum has received thousands of donations,” Lin said. “While many of these items are connected to Cumberland’s history, many definitely are not.
“Until recently the museum lacked a policy stating what type of objects the museum would accept, so the status quo for many years was just to accept everything, no questions asked. But we’re running out of room so it’s time to improve our practices to ensure that the objects in the collection that are important are treated with the care they deserve.”
The Collections Inventory Project is part of a renewal process at the museum. New signage, events, community outreach initiatives and projects will help bring it into the 21st century.
Proceeds from the sale will help fund future projects and contribute to the ongoing development of the museum.
The sale runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 25 to 29 at the museum at 2680 Dunsmuir Ave. Admission is by donation for the duration of the sale.
Visit www.cumberlandmuseum.ca for more information.
Summer Student Carrie Poborsa-Cox has been writing a blog about her experiences with the project at http://dodgecityoddities.tumblr.com.
The museum is open seven days a week until after Labour Day weekend from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.