Baranov Museum receives funds for stone artifacts

Collections manager Michael Bach in Baranov Museum. (Photo by Kayla Desroches / KMXT)

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The Baranov Museum just received a grant for its collection of stone artifacts.

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The Baranov museum is also called the Russian-American Magazin and the Erskine House. In Kodiak, it’s known for covering the Russian side of local history while the Alutiiq Museum and Archaeological Repository is recognized for focusing on Alaska Native culture and history.

But as collections manager Michael Bach points out, the Baranov Museum’s items include a number of Alutiiq artifacts.

“Our community’s really lucky that we have two museums focusing on complementary parts of our community’s history. And so, it’s important to keep in mind that the Baranov Museum was established in the late 1950s, and so from the late 1950s until 1995 when the Alutiiq Museum was opened, we were the sole collecting institution in our community. And so, a lot of our Alutiiq artifacts come from that time period.”

He says the museum no longer focuses on collecting Alutiiq items, but it does look after an extensive number of stone artifacts. And that includes Russian items, like Russian bricks created on island.

“Stone artifacts could be anything from stone lamps to net sinkers to ulu blades to bricks to even some of the foundational stones from the original Russian wharf that was built in the late 1700s.”

The Baranov Museum recently won a grant of about $3,000 from Museums Alaska with funding from the Rasmuson Foundation. Bach says that’ll go towards purchasing heavy duty shelving and better storage for its stone items.

He says the next time the museum can reapply for funds is in fall of 2018.

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