When the Covid-19 pandemic began so too did the sweeping war metaphors to describe the global and personal situations we were facing. Our armies of front-line health care workers led the charge against the enemy, leaving the rest of us to navigate the home front (literally in our homes). The list goes on. The similarity between war and this pandemic I can’t get out of my head this Remembrance Day is that of how the world continues after an event that irrevocably changes it.
Over the years, you may learned - without even realizing it - that your real life is ‘ordinary’.
We have all seen those photographs. Of families on blankets at golden hour. Those photographs are beautiful. They are to be cherished, for sure. But photographs like that - studio or posed photos - teach us that only special things should be photographed. You, in your best clothes. You, with your best smile toward the camera. The kids, hugging and grinning, squared on to the photographer.
The most meaningful memories of our lives are from ordinary moments. The moments of honest connection between a child and parent. The joy of discovery. The thrill of childhood play. The tender touch from a loved one.
Visitors to the Museum of Lennox & Addington are invited to view a new exhibition by Viara Mileva that addresses moments which often go unnoticed, and for which people don’t often pay attention to, the moments which we easily miss. The ‘everyday’ moments.
Summer is sure flying by here at the archives! The museum is buzzing with activity, and more and more researchers are making their way into the archives to hash out the details of the past. The influx of new visitors has had me quite busy responding to research requests, dissecting census records, squinting at the fine print of old newspapers on the microfilm reader, and meandering between the lines of land records and abstracts.
It’s time to dust off the tables, ready the microfilm readers and do a thousand bicep curls in preparation of opening the archives and hauling boxes. Or pulling files which requires significantly less strength but nevertheless, we’re opening again soon, and we can’t wait to have you back!
I’m tired of re-opening the archives. This will be thrice since the pandemic started. Let’s hope there’s no fourfold. Let’s hope words like thrice and fourfold stay resigned to history except when an archivist hears those terms on a tv show and can’t help but smile when using them.
I am beyond excited to be back working at the museum; the artifacts, the exhibits, sufficient desk space, all of these things make me happy. Being back in my work happy place means I can take a deep breath and get back to getting things done, and boy has there been a lot of tasks to accomplish.
It’s been another strange few months, working from home, trying to do what we can here at L&A Archives, without being able to physically work with the archival records. For me, this has meant focusing on updating our online PastPerfect database. I’ve spent the last two months ensuring that the descriptive information for each photograph in the collection is correct and up-to-date, and that each photograph is digitized, accessible online, and locatable in the vault.
I know, I know….love… (cheese alert) who wants to read about that? Honestly, I think we all do (maybe some of us in secret). I think we are all a bit romantic at heart and we all want to hear happy stories that bring smiles to faces and bear witness to that bit of glossed over mooniness that washes over us as we tell the tales of how we met our significant other, or how our parents or grandparents met. A good love story is the ultimate icebreaker -“So how did you guys meet?” is often one of the first conversations we have with potential new friends.
Easter is behind us, spring is on the horizon, and we’ve been busy in the archives! That feeling of hope at the end of a very (very, very, very) long winter is perhaps what’s underneath the pep in our step. Whatever it is, we’re gearing up for an eventful April.
Through the month of March, we participated in a campaign to highlight the work and collections of archives across the province. The project was headed by the folks at the Archives of Ontario. Here’s a snapshot of some of our posts in case you missed them.
Please note that the L&A County Museum & Archives is currently closed due to the Provincial Lockdown. All virtual events will proceed as scheduled. We will re-open when permitted to do so. Our apologies for any inconvenience.