Lincoln, Neb. — Volunteers are sorting through old photos and documents as they prepare to shutter a Lincoln history museum on the telephone industry.
Curator Wally Tubbs told the Lincoln Journal-Star that the Frank H. Woods Telephone Pioneer Museum will be selling its artifacts before closing down.
The museum’s board members have tried to keep the free museum open for the past three years. The museum opened in 1996, and accumulated artifacts from the days of Alexander Graham Bell to the Blackberry era over the years.
Mayor Chris Beutler formed a committee to explore alternative museum locations in 2016. But affordable options for spaces were dwindling as developers announced new plans for the area.
“We investigated a lot of properties,” Tubbs said. “But the best choices were the most expensive and that painted a picture for us that this was going to have to come to an end.”
There’s no set date for the museum to leave the building in Lincoln, said Bub Windle, a museum board member.
“We hope to move quickly,” said Windle. “But the exact timing will depend on the sale of the collection, delivering possession of the collection, and the developers’ ability to work with us and accommodate both dates.”
Developers haven’t announced any plans for the location yet.
The museum’s association and board are contacting History Nebraska and other phone museums to gauge interest on pieces in the collection. While volunteers sort out what to do with the artifacts, the museum’s doors remain open.
Tubbs said, “If someone wants to take a tour and phones in here, we’ll give them a tour.”