Originally Posted: Nov. 12, 2019
Remember Sunday Eiselt from our 2017 profile of her? She’s a former Marine, archaeologist, professor, and director of SMU’s Archaeological Research Collections (ARC). She’s also our best chance of saving some of North Texas’ oldest, most important history.
Last week I met up with her to tour the ARC facilities, located in Heroy Hall. It’s been a little over two years since our initial interview, and in that amount of time she’s managed an amazing transformation of the three rooms that comprise ARC. What follows is an update, including before-and-after photos. But prior to getting there, give the photo above a look. That’s Eiselt in one of the rooms surrounded by musty brown boxes, each packed to capacity with artifacts, stacked like sardines on shelving on the verge of collapse. In the span of two years a great deal has changed, and she says there are more developments on the way.
Same room, different space. Eiselt moves through the room where her photo was taken in 2017. Old shelving is gone and brown boxes have been replaced by new archival ones. The freshly painted room remains partially empty in anticipation of the new compact modular system set to arrive in the coming weeks. The transformation of ARC has been funded by generous private donations, a NAGRA grant, and a Summerlee Foundation grant. (Photo: Laray Polk)
Since early 2018, Eiselt and her team have been hard at work transforming three rooms in Heroy Hall into a climate-controlled, state-of-the-art facility for storing, documenting, cataloguing, and retrieving cultural resources. ARC is now close to meeting the requirements for becoming a state-certified repository. Certification from the Texas Historical Commission would mean the city has the option of depositing artifacts at SMU instead of sending them away to TARL in Austin. READ MORE