STEPHANIE RUDDOCK became the museum services manager for Pejepscot Historical Society earlier this month. A Michigan native, Ruddock said moving to Maine has always been her dream.

STEPHANIE RUDDOCK became the museum services manager for Pejepscot Historical Society earlier this month. A Michigan native, Ruddock said moving to Maine has always been her dream.

BRUNSWICK

Stephanie Ruddock has just settled in as the new museum services manager for the Pejepscot Historical Society and she’s eager to dig in. The Michigan native, currently living in Bath, said she’s drawn to the history of the Midcoast region.

Times Record: Tell us a little about yourself, where you live, education, etc.

Stephanie Ruddock: I live in Bath and absolutely adore living right in town. I moved to the Maine area this past winter from Chicago, where I was living while I completed my master’s in library and information science at Dominican University.

I grew up in Michigan, which is where I received my B.A. with an English major, from the University of Michigan.

Moving to Maine has always been my dream, so my husband and I decided to go for it and move here when I completed my master’s. I love the rich history here and the dedication and passion of the public in preservation of this history.

TR: What’s your background in museum work and nonprofits?

SR: I worked at the Maine Maritime Museum in guest services before starting at PHS, and was able to learn a great deal about customer service in a museum setting.

Admissions and gift shop sales were some of my duties, as well as informing guests and making reservations for events, and assisting on museum boat rides down the Kennebec River.

I also completed an internship at a public library while working toward my master’s in the local history and adult services department.

Here, I gained tons of experience working with archives, doing digitization and helping to identify persons in donated photos. I focused many of my courses in grad school on archiving, and it was great to put those skills to the test before making my way out into the work field.

TR: What are the duties of the manager?

SR: The museum services manager is the first face a guest sees, and many times the first phone or email interaction a customer will have. Therefore, I end up wearing a lot of hats.

I inform guests about tours and sell tickets, as well as scheduling volunteer guides for those tours. I help guests in person and remotely with research help, and pull items from the archives as needed. I work with local schools and various groups in setting up group tours.

I hope to spend time reorganizing some of the archives collection this winter when things quiet down as well. I also update social media pages and help with special events. These are just some of the many things I do in a day’s work.

TR: What do you see as challenges moving forward in your position?

SR: Space constraints and adequate storage for archives are always concerns for historical societies. Obviously, we want to preserve as much history as we possibly can, but we only have so much room, and some of the spaces we do have are not ideal for storing archives.

I also would love to spend time reorganizing and prioritizing archives collections, but it can be difficult to find the time with other more pressing daily duties.

TR: What do you hope to bring to PHS?

SR: I hope to bring an enthusiasm for historical research and preservation.

Each person who walks through the door looking to find out more about PHS or to do research feels a special calling to find out more about history.

I want to remain excited about teaching patrons about PHS and research techniques, and always learn something from them in return.

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