The Springfield Historical Society is getting a little help from neighbors in Cooperstown.

A class from the Cooperstown Graduate Program is meeting with the group to discuss how to preserve and present artifacts and historical documents.

Society President Noel Dries said the group has tried to ``bring some kind of order’’ to its collections for two years, and professional help from the museum program will be beneficial.

The society and students from the class met recently to begin exploring options, he said.

``We are looking for a solid direction,’’ Dries said. ``I’m very optimistic.’’

Gretchen Sorin, director of the museum program, said 17 students in a one-semester ``Introduction to Museums’’ class will work with the Springfield group.

Students will consider the society’s holdings and goals, then develop some options based on ``best practices,’’ she said.

The Cooperstown Graduate Program’s two-year course of study leads to a Master of Arts degree in history museum studies and is a partnership between the State University College at Oneonta and the New York State Historical Association, Public service is at the core of the program because museums should be at the center of community life, the CGP website said.

Sorin said communities and organizations sometimes wrestle with what to do with their collections or how to make them accessible to the public.

Some groups consider opening a museum but often that isn’t a sustainable option, she said.

Dries said a museum isn’t being considered but the society wants to be able to help with requests about the community and genealogy.

The organization seeks guidance on which items to keep and recommendations about which items might be better maintained, displayed and accessible at other institutions, he said.

The society is 51 years old and has collected and been given artifacts, documents, photographs and other materials, Dries said.

The society has a room in the Community Center on Otsego County Route 29A and is open by appointment, though members usually are working there Monday afternoons, he said.

The society usually meets quarterly in January, April, July and October and presents programs open to the public.


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