Wednesday, December 19, 2007

SRAC Receives an Early Christmas Present!

SRAC is proud to announce that the Robert K. Fox Collection has been added to the SRAC collection.

Bob Fox was a collector in the region surrounding Athens, PA for most of his life, and up until his recent death was proud to show the evidence of this region that he himself had found and recorded.

When we were asked to visit the Fox home and collection recently, board members Ted Keir, Tom Vallilee and I all were pleasantly surprised to see that Bob had placed a number on literally all of the artifacts that he had found over the decades. These numbers are listed in a little notebook that shows each number relating to a specific site or location where that artifact was found. If memory serves me right, Bob had around 30 - some sites recorded.

This puts Bob's collection at a very important place in our collection, because it can without a doubt be useful to researchers to know what was found at these sites in our region.

This collection is also a wonderful message to SRAC that the word is getting out about what we are trying to do. That is - to not put our evidence on the auction block and instead to preserve it for the sake of our community and furthering research about our prehistoric past.

The Fox Collection - (which it will be known as from this point on at SRAC) is the fifth donation of evidence that we have received. The first of which was by our co-founder Mr. Dick Cowles of thousands of artifacts (evidence) that belonged to his father, Ellsworth Cowles that covers sites around Waverly, NY, Spanish Hill, Athens, PA, Big Flats, even Corning. The second was the Bernard Safford Collection, from Waverly, NY but includes hundreds of artifacts from sites located in Sheshequin, PA and Ithaca, NY which we have used in schools around the region and at many events for kids per his wishes. The third was the Sloat Collection which includes evidence from a specific site in Milltown, PA. The fourth was the Les Rolfe Collection, which includes an authentic Birch Bark canoe as well as 250 framed Vestal Points, and some miscellaneous artifacts from a PA site. As you can see, we are again honored to receive yet another incredible local collection - the Bob Fox collection which is a wonderful addition to our materials.

I want to personally thank Randy Pettit and all of Bob Fox's relatives who made the decision to donate the evidence to SRAC. We are honored to receive the gift and take the stewardship of the evidence you have entrusted to us very seriously.

Make no mistake -
We hope that our local collectors continue to fieldwalk and enjoy their collections. Without them, we would have very little evidence of our Native Indian past left in our community. All we ask is that they consider planning ahead. As many of you already know, many of our local collections have been lost in the past by ending up at auction houses at which point the evidence was lost forever.

SRAC was founded for this very purpose - to allow our private collectors a place where their collections can be housed in their name forever when they are ready to consider a new home for them at some point. If something should happen and they have not, we ask that the family consider their loved ones life's work as a wonderful way to have them remembered in their community, as well as a way to preserve evidence of our region's past.

We at SRAC believe it is OUR history. Without our local collectors and philanthropists, SRAC would not have been founded nor been able to have the successes it has to date.

Thank you to all who have given to SRAC in whatever form was possible. We take it as a vote of confidence, and will continue to work hard to continue to be deserving of it.

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