CCHS Volunteer Shorts: Tad Miller

October 5, 2016

Blair Williams: I am here with Tad Miller at the Cumberland County Historical Society Library. And, Tad you are the Volunteer of the Year from 2015. So I will ask you how long have you been volunteering here at the Historical Society?

Tad Miller: Well I’ve been here ten years, as a matter of fact. We moved to this area in June of 2006 and within two weeks we had been here and signed up as volunteers.

BW: What made you interested in volunteering here?

TM: Both my wife and I like museum work. We are docents at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. But we like local history too. We think we should be a part of what is going on in the community and that of course brought us here. We were impressed, this is one of the better county historical societies that I’ve seen anywhere.

BW: What do you do here at the Historical Society while you’re volunteering?

TM: The short answer is I do everything. I started out in the photo archive scanning photographs and cataloging them so we have a digital base of them. But then that expanded into helping in the education department. I do programs both in schools and here at the Historical Society. Then I started working in the library scanning documents and cataloging them. And I have been known to work as the receptionist at the front desk from time to time as well.

BW: During your ten years here what are the most interesting things you’ve come across here in the collections?

TM: There are two things that struck me. One, while cataloging documents I came across a document from the eighteenth century. It was a form and at the bottom of it said printed by B. Franklin, Philadelphia. I thought that was quite interesting. And for a time I was doing docent work in the museum up here and one day the curator asked me if I would go through some of the old weapons and check to make sure they were all unloaded. So I came in with a ramrod with a worm screwed to the end of it and I was reaching in to each gun and everything was fine and then I pulled out a wadding with a bunch of birdshot in it. For a gun that has probably been up there loaded for a hundred and fifty years or longer. So I thought that was a little odd. It seems safe enough though. We didn’t have any accidents with it. But it does go to show that you should always check guns to make sure they are unloaded; and should always check artifacts to make sure what you have.

BW: All right. Thank you for talking with me today.

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