The museum is fortunate to have a team of “behind-the-scenes” volunteers that support the efforts of our collections staff. Collections volunteers assist in a variety of projects ranging from cataloging artifacts to developing finding aids for archival collections. While our October volunteer of the month, Jim Henderson, now supports the museum in this capacity, when he first started in April of 2011 he worked with local students. Jim was part of a group of docents who traveled to schools to present a variety of programs. He also toured school groups through the museum as part of our field trip program. Looking for a change of pace, he reached out to Leah Davis Witherow, the Museum’s Curator of History, to see how he might begin working in collections. In his time in the archive he has inventoried the Colorado Springs Police Department’s scrapbooks and created finding Aids and inventories for at least seven other important collections such as the Merrill E. Shoup and Gammon Family Collections. He also supported our outdoor sculpture collection by assisting in preservation efforts. Jim has experienced the full spectrum of a CSPM volunteer – from programs to collections!
After nine years of service, Jim shared that what keeps him coming back is the intellectual nature of his work in the archive. He learns a great deal from each collection and his favorite experience was working with materials from the Alexander Film Company, “I enjoyed learning about the Alexander Brothers. That was one of the more interesting projects that I worked on. I learned how they started out and where their small town was in the Midwest.” Jim is very drawn to this history because of his own, over 40 years of experience as a hobby glider pilot. Jim also explores this interest as a volunteer for the Peterson Air and Space Museum, and former secretary of their foundation.
Thank you Jim for your generous service and congratulations on this well-deserved honor!