With the museum board now once again up to full decision-making capacity, the Whitaker Museum is moving ahead with several new projects including the digitization of their records, a DVD about the life of museum namesake Thomas Whitaker, and the next step in the process of evaluating the best way to renovate the museum.
The board, which resignations had cut down to two people by this spring, is now back up to full decision-making size with the appointments of Richard H. Davis, R. Dean Layton and Doug Romney. Paul Thomas Smith, one of the original members of the board, is now serving as the museum board chair.
The matching funds needed for the digitization project, which is designed to keep the museumís records usable and available to the public as long as possible, were recently approved by both the city council and the museum board. Unfortunately, the digitization project will have to be cut back slightly or seek additional funds, since the Utah State Records Advisory Board only granted the project about a third of the initially hoped-for $7,500.
The DVD, which will be funded by an earlier grant received by the museum board, will chronicle the life of the Thomas Whitaker family, who once owned the home in which the museum now resides. In his youth, Thomas Whitaker stowed away on a merchant whaler heading to the South Pacific, where he learned to harpoon and render whales as well as skills from the shipís carpenter.
The museum board is also working on the possibility of getting a structural engineer to evaluate the museum, a process that would also produce architectural drawings necessary for any restoration or renovation that might be done to the museum. The museum board and the city council are still debating whether the renovation would include an addition added to the building in the 1960s.