The National Civil War Museum closes for two weeks in February

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – “You can imagine there’s a lot of wear and tear on this building, so now is a great time to do some of that work.”

Jeffrey Nichols, CEO of the National Civil War Museum, talks about being closed to the public for two weeks, starting February 7. It’s something they do every year.

“We closed for a few weeks during the slower season, which is the first three months of the year,” he explains. “It’s really a big cleaning and maintenance project, and making sure the building is ready for another year.

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Museum staff will have a busy two weeks. “Change light bulbs, clean exhibits, change artifacts, make upgrades,” Nichols says. “We go into every case and every room in this museum, just to make sure that all the artifacts are in place, that they are stored properly. There will be a few items that have arrived in the last two years that we will put in the galleries.

But not only are they doing their annual spring cleaning, but the museum is tackling a major behind-the-scenes project – the complete replacement of its entire audio-visual system. Why?

“Simply, he is twenty years old. It has completed its life cycle and needs to be replaced,” says Nichols.

Replacement parts for the system are becoming hard to find. How outdated is the system?

“We needed to look for a 3 1/2-inch floppy disk,” Nichols explains. “So that they can extract some of the data from the system, it’s its age.”

The new system vendor has been busy putting the new system in place. “They’ve been working behind the scenes for over a month now, securing all the necessary equipment,” says Nichols. “All the equipment which, as we all know today, isn’t the easiest thing to do, but they were able to get it all. And now they’re back at their desks, transferring all the data So they pulled out all the video, all the audio, all the lighting, everything that’s needed to run this complex system”

“What they’re going to do during this two-week shutdown is come in and replace the systems. So they replace all the hardware, then get everything up and running. »

The work must be done in time for a special day.

“Saturday, February 19, we have our community-free day,” Nichols says. “This is an opportunity to thank the residents of Harrisburg and surrounding communities for all of their support, including helping us raise over $150,000 for this project. It’s a great way to celebrate, to see this building in all its glory, beautiful as it is, special events, a few lectures will be held and other interpretive elements that should make for a great experience.

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