RICHMOND, Calif. -- Housed in a 1910 Carnegie Library building, the Richmond Museum of History has had a presence in Richmond, California for over 60 years. Visitors can see a Model A Ford, an early peddlers wagon, Native American baskets and even the East Bay's only Victor Arnautoff mural. But executive director Melinda McCrary wanted to mix things up and take visitors where they had never been before.
"The public's perception of the museum may often be a room with a lot of exhibits and educational programs," McCrary explains. "What they often don't realize is that museums have large areas of collections that are hidden away from the public."
With over 90% of the museum's collections in storage, the Richmond Museum of History created an event that immerses visitors even deeper into the areas history. When you become a member of the museum, you can sign up for a "behind the scenes" tour.
"The inspiration for the behind the scenes collection tour was to provide more public access to our collection areas because we have so much material down here that we want to share," shared McCrary.
Visitors can explore areas like the main collection storage, the textile collection and the archeology room.
"So many people say that they feel like they're in the last scene of the Indiana Jones film where they're putting the Ark of the Covenant into the collection space," McCrary says with a smile.
Designed to accommodate 6-8 people, the tour lasts about an hour and a half.
"You will feel part of an exclusive party when you come to the behind-the-scenes tour because not everybody gets to do this," McCrary adds.
According to McCrary, she hopes the experience has a lasting connection with visitors.
"I want people to come here to find their inspiration," McCrary shares. "There is something here for everyone to get inspired by."
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