Derek Lee works with his hands on the past but always with his eyes to the future as the curator of collections at the Edmond Historical Society & Museum. He is someone you should know.
EHSM offers a gateway into the city’s origins and cultural evolution of the residents who have made it their home.
Lee, now the gatekeeper at EHSM, earned a Bachelor of Art in History degree, and a Masters in Public History degree with a focus on Museum Studies, both from Oklahoma State University.
“I’ve always enjoyed learning about the past and the people who have been here before,” Lee said.
Lee came to the museum as its exhibits coordinator in 2013. In May 2018 he became the exhibits curator.
The current exhibit, “Ain’t We Got Fun,” focuses on Edmond during the 1920s.
“Everybody almost immediately thinks of the Roaring Twenties, and the flappers and Gatsby,” he said. “But that really wasn’t the case in Edmond. It was really a pretty conservative town. There wasn’t much drinking, but there was a lot of other stuff going on with the arts and athletics, community groups and that kind of thing.”
Another exhibit at the museum called “Snapshots of Time” shows 100 years of photographs and vintage cameras in Edmond.
Today’s Edmond has something to offer for a lot of different people, Lee said. He and his wife have a 2-year-old son. He enjoys the city’s small town feel.
“It’s got the nice downtown with historic buildings,” Lee said. “The parks are great, everybody is friendly. It’s a great place for families and has a really interesting history.”
He gets to interact with many people of the community and those visiting Edmond. Most people are interested in learning something new at the museum.