Greenlee County Historical Museum

The Greenlee County Historical Museum on Chase Creek Street.

In just a matter of months, local history will be readily available to students and researchers online.

Thanks to a $4,000 grant, Clifton Public Library employees will soon be photographing Greenlee County Historical Society Museum exhibits and entering the historical information into software to be downloaded to the library’s website.

The museum, which is located in an historic two-story building, houses prehistoric and 19th century Western Apache and Pueblo culture artifacts. Glass cases display Native American ceremonial gloves, belts and aces. A mining exhibit includes a 1915 geological relief model of the entire community. Located in the historic district of Chase Creek, the museum houses a vast collection of old photographs and is an affiliate of the Arizona Historical Society.

The library received the grant from the Arizona State Library through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act in October.

Library Director Sabrina Dumas is looking forward to the completion of the project since the museum is currently inaccessible to school class field trips or community research due to COVID-19.

“Everything in the museum tour is going to be interactive. People online will be able to choose certain items to click on, and it will expand with descriptions of what it is,” she said.

A team of people in a variety of different age groups will help decide which items would be best to highlight in the tour, Dumas said. The software required to create the virtual tour has been ordered.

“Honestly, this is a whole new thing and we’re learning this together,” Dumas said. “We’re all learning this literally at the same time.”

The finished museum tour is expected to be completed and online by March. Most of the tour will be in the form of picture galleries and indexes. However, Dumas said she hopes there will be a way that people can hear about the artifacts in the museum too with pre-recorded audio.

With audio options, youngsters who are too young to read can still enjoy the interactive online tour, she said.

David Woodall, Morenci Unified School District superintendent, said the tour will be a great resource for teaching the history of Greenlee County and mining.

“We’re really happy to see this come to fruition. It’s going to be not only a good resource for our kids, but for the parents and residents of Greenlee County. It’s really nice to see that taking place and we’re looking forward to using it,” Woodall said.

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