About the Treasure Chambers Museum curator ...
Angie re-discovered the Beauty and the Beast TV series on dvds borrowed from the library in late 2006. She had seen the series when it was first aired in 1987-88 in Canada, and later that year in Hong Kong, where she was to work for 6 years. She saw most of Season 1 and some of Season 2, but was completely unaware of Season 3 and the controversy surrounding it. She bought the dvds and joined the BBTV Yahoo group in February 2007, learning a great deal about the series, its conventions, its memorabilia, and its fans. She also read a lot of fan fiction and began writing her own. Her first fan fiction story was submitted to the Steam Tunnels and published in September 2008. Angie attended her first Winterfest Online (WFOL) in January 2009.
In February 2009, Angie was concerned about the lack of information about B&B memorabilia and announced on the BBTV list that she would like to start a project to catalog it, so that its existence would be known and preserved, and to create a online museum where fans could view it. Several fans immediately offered to be part of this project and The Beauty and the Beast Museum Project was launched. It was hoped that an online display of memorabilia items would open during WFOL 2010.
Angie started the B&B Museum Project and was wholely responsible for coordinating it, collecting and organizing memorabilia information, maintaining an offline Access database, and preparing items for posting online.
She was unaware of any association between the Beauty and the Beast Memorabilia Database (BBMD) and Winterfest Online ( WFOL) until October 30, 2009 - nine months after the Project began. There was no communication whatsoever from the WFOL Candlemakers during that period. The curator of the BBMD did not state any connection, nor did any member of the Project group. No association was mentioned on the BBMD itself.
The Project was completely independent of WFOL. Any cooperation and/or assistance given the Project by WFOL Candlemakers was done as individuals. Candlemaker identies were (and are) secret.
No association or communication with WFOL Candlemakers was assumed. All work and communication by the Project, internally and to fans by email, was shared among the Project group and archived.
The Project was aware of the existence of the BBMD, but was under no stated obligation or assumption to use it to display the information it collected. When it was discovered that the BBMD could not meet the requirements of the Project, a traditional website was created. This was named the Treasure Chambers Museum.
The Project's primary goal was the collection and presentation of memorabilia items in a fashion that both complimented them and allowed fans to enjoy them.
Angie found the work on this Project to be demanding, challenging, a joy - and a great priviledge. She remains committed to the Project and is grateful for all the assistance and cooperation she received - and continues to receive. This Project is ongoing and long term. Much remains to be done.
The History of the Beauty and the Beast Museum Project
Note: The events in this history are documented in archived material belonging to the B&B Museum Project
- February 2009: The Beauty and the Beast Museum Project was announced and launched on the Yahoo group, BBTV. It was hoped that an onlne museum to display memorabilia information would open during WFOL 2010.
- March 5, 2009: The Yahoo BATB Museum Group was created to allow the members of the Project to coordinate their efforts to locate and identify memorabilia items. The goals and plans for the Project were distributed to volunteer Project members by Angie. Two iconic items becamed the first and second items recorded by the Project - a grey Vincent vest, and the Wild Side subway poster. Over the next few months, dozens more items were submitted by fans, identified and catalogued.
- March 22 - September 2009: Angie communicated with the "curator" of the BBMD during this period. After receiving little asisstance, cooperation or encouragement from the curator, and after doing a test posting of two memorabilia items, she determined that the use of the BBMD was impossible for technical (browser incomaptibility) and practical (time required) reasons. The format and design of the BBMD were also too restrictive for the memorabilia information collected by the Project, especially series costumes - which it was felt needed an episode image to put them in context them for fans.
- September 2009: Now concerned about how to how to display the over 100 memorabilia items collected and catalogued, Angie contacted Lynn Wright, who was not a member of the Project, and asked her if she could design a museum site on The Steam Tunnels. Lynn readily agreed to help, and designed a site (whose format and colours are still used on this site). She and Angie began working together to post material on the site, which was hidden from the public.
- October 6, 2009: The Project communicated with the WFOL Candlemakers to tell tham that the work was progressing well and that it had created its own memorabilia museum. A link was included so that they could view the hidden site.
- October 30, 2009: The WFOL Candlemakers sent a letter to the Project members, expressing "concerns" and committed to their "concept" of a "museum" (the BBMD). They also claimed a right to use the term "museum" and any work done on one. They asked, in patronizing language, for a cease and desist of all work on the Project's museum site, then displaying 182 items, until it could be discussed.
- October 31, 2009 (Halloween): Members of the Project were shocked and distressed by the tone of the email received from the Candlemakers and exchanged many emails, trying to understand the problem. The Project had always been independent of WFOL and had never previously received any communication from the Candlemakers.
- November 1, 2009: The Project replied to the Candlemaker's email, stating their position - that their musuem suited the needs of the material gathered and the BBMD did not, and why, and waited for a reply.
- November 4, 2009.: The Candlemakers communicated with the Project, asking for patience while they sorted out their responses and options.
- November 5, 2009: - The Candlemakers sent an email to the Project, outlining the advantages of a proposed "redesigned" BBMD. They submitted a link to a draft, redesigned BBMD site - which included 182 items "lifted" (stolen) from the Project's hidden museum website on the Steam Tunnnels. No permission had been given for this demonstration of the Project's private data and use of material, nor was there any prior consultation. Data was put into the BBMD exactly as it appeared on the Treasure Chambers hidden site, including the colour scheme and references that could not be utilized in the BBMD (i.e. episode capture images for series costumes).
- November 5, 2009: The Project members replied to the Candlemaker's directive, responding to each point. It was it clear that the objectives of the Project were entirely different to those of the BBMD, especially as regards the methods used to input and display memorabilia items. (The BBMD required memorabilia owners to input their own data, while the Project's memorabilia was researched, formatted and catalogued - and the website maintained - by Project volunteers).
Over the next several days, despite several communications back and forth, it became obvious that there was a fundamental difference in philosophy between the Project and the Candlemakers/BBMD. Although there were attempts to come to an accommodation, in the final analysis it was impossible reconcile the many issues dividing them.
- November 8, 2009: Project members, after much discussion, decided to resolve the impasse in a simple manner. An email drafted by the Project, was sent to the Candlemakers and gave them an ultimatum. They would be allowed to keep and use the data of the 182 memorabilia items they had "lifted" (stolen) from the Project's website, but that any items collected and/or published after October 31, 2009 would belong to the Project and no further memorabilia data would be supplied to the BBMD. The Project would follow its own vision with the memorabilia information it collected, and make public the Treasure Chambers. The Candlemakers agreed to these terms.
- December 2009: The Project continued to catalog and post items on its (still) hidden site. Large collectors began to send their images and information to the Project. Due to the work involved in cataloging large collections, it was decided not to launch the Project's museum in late 2009, as originally discussed. It was further decided not to launch before WFOL 2010 and the Candlemakers were informed. This was done as a concession to the importance of WFOL, and a desire by the Project group not to interfere with this annual celebration. The Candlemakers did not acknowledge this or reply to the email.
- February 2010: WFOL 2010 opened with its "redesigned" BBMD, now called a "Museum" on its splash title page. The 182 items taken from the Project formed the core of the display. The memorabilia items were unchanged from the original demonstration of November 5, 2009 - keeping both the Project's colour scheme and obsolete text references to episode captures (which the BBMD could not display).
- March 14, 2010: A large collector of series costumes contacted the Project and cataloguing and identification began on these - including locating and taking series episode captures for each costume. These were posted by the Project on its hidden site.
- April 2010: The Project's museum was renamed "The Treasure Chambers Museum" to avoid confusion with the BBMD, and officially opened. Over 350 items had been catalogued and posted by the Project by that time.
- May 2010 - August 2010: The Project continued its work. Periodic confusion about the two museums on the BBTV list continued. Despite a request from Angie, the WFOL Candlemakers refused to clarify the situation or correct misconceptions.
- September 2010: Angie became disillusioned with the toxic atmosphere on BBTV and other B&B groups/lists, and the apparent lack of appreciation for the work done by the Project, along with animosity towards Project members. She resigned from all B&B groups/lists. She continued to work on the Treasure Chambers Museum with Lynn Wright.
- October 2010 to - October 2011: Real life intruded on Angie with the sudden death of her brother, but after a hiatus of several months, work on cataloguing and posting memorabilia to the TC Museum continued and the number of posted items reached 400.
- November 2011: Angie bought the Treasure Chambers domain (www.treasurechambers.com) and with Lynn's help, tranferred the TC Museum to it. The Museum and its contents were removed from The Steam Tunnels and the new home for the Project's museum was announced on CABB.
- April 2012: Another large collector of memorabilia items contacted the Project, and a great many previously unseen items were offered to the Museum. In celebration of this, The Treasure Chambers Newsletter was launched and a newsletter sent out weekly.
- May 2012 to October 2012: The TC Museum continued to grow and as of Halloween 2012, the third anniversary of the "disagreement" with WFOL/BBMD, boasted over 610 memorabilia items.
- November 2012 - March 2013: Further large collections, this time of B&B artwork, are being added to the Museum's Fine Art display. Regular additions to other categories continue to be sent to the Treasure Chambers. Items in the Museum passed the 700 mark.
- Summer 2013: The Museum continues to grow and the main Treasure Chambers site complements it with occasional art postings and cross-references.
- January 2014: Items in The Treasure Chambers now approach 800 in number. In late 2013, several "Feature Gallery" pages were created to highlight special displays in the Impersonators, Replicas and Set Miniatures categories.
- December 2014: The Treasure Chambers Museum presented the Judy Evans Gallery, featuring her concept drawing of Vincent costumes, images of the costumes held by fans, and episode captures of their series appearance.
January 2015 to present: Work continues on the Museum, as well as the main Treasure Chambers site. More surprises are in store.
A great deal of confusion continues to surround the two "museums", mostly because of the similarity of their format and colours. WFOL does not appear to want to address this.
While the Treasure Chambers museum is browser-friendly, those other than Internet Explorer are still incompatible with the BBMD and cannot utilize many of its functions.
The two museum sites have very different goals and methods.
The BBMD is, as the name implies, a database first and foremost, and all input is done by memorabilia owners. It requires minimal maintenance by its curator(s). Most fans only visit it during WFOL. New items are added rarely.
the Treasure Chambers Museum, items are revised if new information
comes to light, and great care is taken to provide an accurate
description of each, along with good quality images. The "curator"
takes a personal interest in the TC Museum and works on
The Treasure Chamber Museum provides a permanent record, in picture and word, of 24 categories of B&B memorabilia. It is an invaluable resource for fans who are considering purchasing items, or wish to verify their own collections. Everything has been verified as to authenticity.
This Project owes a huge debt of gratitude to the people who love, preserve and share these special, irreplaceable items – as well as those who continue to add to their own to this online collection.
The Museum Project also thanks Lynn Wright. Without her help and support at a critical juncture, and her ongoing assistance while it established itself, this Museum would not have been possible.
This Museum is presented in the spirit of tolerance that is the greatest legacy of the Beauty and the Beast TV series. Items representing all three seasons are proudly displayed without prejudice.
In the Future:
This Museum records only physical items - so what about videos, audio files and archival material? The curator is gathering and posting this material, so that it too can be enjoyed by fans. Many of these items will appear in the main Treasure Chambers site.
New additions, in any category, are always welcome. The Treasure Chambers Museum inventory continues to grow with the help of fans. Questions and comments about any object on display are welcome – as are more pictures and information about cherished items to add to the display.
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