The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum is committed to caring for each artifact we receive, because each individual item tells the larger story of the Texas Rangers.
The Museum’s two primary missions are to:
■ Disseminate knowledge and inspire appreciation of the Texas Rangers.
■ To serve as the principal repository for artifacts and archives relating to the Texas Rangers.
Both goals are achieved when we provide professional museum quality care for the objects and what they embody––the enduring legacy of the Texas Rangers.
An artifact, no matter what the composition, is subject to deterioration, mostly due to environmental conditions. For example, an object that is in a moist, humid climate will inevitably begin to mold or rust. By the same token, if it does not receive routine maintenance, it will quickly deteriorate. When a museum accepts an artifact, whether it is loaned or a permanent piece in the museum’s collection, the museum personnel have the responsibility to care for it to the best of our ability and maintain both the physical object and its history.
One of the most important steps in collections care is to ensure that an artifact is properly housed and stored. An example of this is the Museum’s collection of small leather goods, including leather gun belts, holsters, bandoliers, bullet holders, pouches, ID wallets, gun cases, and the like. This set of artifacts represents an important piece of the personal gear each Texas Ranger carries.
The first step in this preservation project was to complete an inventory of the collection of small leather goods, ensuring all items were accounted for, and then organizing them for a more efficient use of collection storage space and materials. Each object was rehoused in modern archive safe boxes and stabilized. The archive boxes are acid free and lignin-free and will protect the object from moisture, soil, and abrasions. This project is one example of the tasks, for which the Museum’s Collections Department is responsible, in order to prevent the deterioration of precious one-of-a-kind objects.
Properly caring for both artifacts for future generations is an important part of preserving the history and heritage of the Texas Rangers. The Collections Department strives to follow the highest museum standards and utilizes modern preservation and research practices.
By preserving and providing routine maintenance for each artifact, the Museum can guarantee that each time visitors walk through our gallery spaces or utilize the Texas Ranger Research Center, they will find historic objects in the best possible condition. It is also crucial to preserve our vast collection in order for researchers to come and conduct historical and scientific analysis on items within our collection.
Caring for and preserving each artifact in the collection is something the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum staff works toward daily. We not only recognize the value of each object but also are proud to serve as the stewards of the oldest state law enforcement agency in the nation and an enduring symbol of Texas and the American West––the Texas Rangers.