Museum of Ventura County begins documentation of recent tragedies

As curator and repository for Ventura County’s history, the Museum of Ventura County is reaching out to Ventura County fire and sheriff departments, other agencies and, most importantly, the Ventura County public to create a historical archive and personal documentation of the shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks on Nov. 7, 2018, as well as the devasting Hill and Woolsey fires. The museum has launched “rapid response collecting” to secure donations of photographs, links to video, artifacts, stories and other elements related to these tragic events.

“Rapid response collecting” is a term used by museums across the country, including those in Orlando and Las Vegas, in response to events such as mass shootings. The Museum of Ventura County is working with Pamela Schwartz, chief curator of the Orange County, Florida, Regional History Center, who led the documentation efforts for the Pulse Nightclub shooting in 2016. She will actively guide gathering photos, artifacts, documents and more that tell the stories of the Borderline shooting and that honors its victims and survivors.

Also throughout the next few months, the Museum will be gathering stories and digital images as well as physical artifacts to assemble the historical record of the extraordinary rescues, bravery, sacrifice and service of fire fighters, law enforcement personnel and other first responders who battled—and continue to battle—the raging fires in Ventura County, as well as community members who reacted to the crisis with steadfast calm and opened their hearts and hands to help those in need. The Museum invites the public’s participation and encourages those with a story to tell, or a tribute or thank you to share, to submit their stories and digital images to help document this community experience.

The public can send submissions of photographs, links to video, and stories related to either event to the Museum via email at [email protected] or can arrange to submit other formats by contacting Curator of Collections Anna Bermudez at [email protected].

The Museum of Ventura County celebrates, preserves and interprets the art, history and culture of Ventura County, the California Channel Islands and the surrounding region through its collections, exhibitions, events, educational programs, publications and its research library, and serves as a gathering place for the community. Located at 100 East Main Street, the Museum of Ventura County is open Tuesday – Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. For more information, visit or call 805-653-0323.

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