There’s been a lot of information from us at the Museum and Archives lately about Anne Frank and the travelling exhibit from the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. I say this not as promotion, rather to provide context for this blog because without that exhibit, it’s hard to say whether Donald Reid, Luva Perry, Harold Rogers or Erich Possin would be at the forefront of my work lately.
We will be ending our exhibition year with a “cracking” good time – tutus, cookies, and Christmas trees included.
Can you believe how fast 2019 is slipping by? I am sitting at my desk reviewing my exhibit plan for 2020 and realize that I am due to write a blog. With this in mind and my exhibit plan in front of me…I think I will highlight what’s around the corner for the exhibits at the museum. This year we circulated nine exhibits with various themes- changing from student sculpted snowmen to model boats, from the St Lawrence Seaway flooding to birds in our backyard.
With my thoughts in digitization and updating our online database (and let’s face it, since it's October I am also thinking about apple pie recipes) I often forget to slow down and remind myself of how researchers interact with resources at the archives.
A tweet from the Society of American Archivists on October 2nd, 2019 during #AskanArchivist day pulled me away from scanning a photograph album from 1872 to ponder the question of how researchers locate and engage with records online:
Museums collect so that we tell the stories of our past and present. History can be warm and sunny, telling tales of family, love, community do-gooders, technological advances, medical breakthroughs, ancient places discovered underfoot. But from the happiest of histories - human misery and sadness are often underlying.
“What’s the oldest thing in your collection?” asks a student during every high school research trip to the archives. It’s the question that weighs on a lot of historically minded people when they step into our space. The answer may be different today than it will be tomorrow. Don’t be mad that if you ask this question, my answer will always ride along with the caveat, TODAY, we believe the oldest item to be…
Two of our museum staff recently had an article they co-authored featured in MAIGazine - the Newsletter of the AAO's Municipal Archives Interest Group. Amber Meyer Dunn and Lisa Lawlis - developed The History We Wrote program for students to link their own past to what they were learning in school.
You can find the article on page 14 here:
As the doors close on another summer, I look back and am grateful for another successful season at the Allan Macpherson House. August flew by, highlighted by Driftwood Theatre, Paper Making and an end of summer Ice Cream Social. Thank you to all of the guests, new faces and regulars, who made a trip to the Macpherson House a part of your summer story. Although afternoons at our beautiful historical home are over for the year, the new season of programming at the Museum is just about to kick off!
Working at the museum this summer has been a wealth of experiences that have given me new perspectives, and a broader knowledge of collections work. It has both complimented and advanced what I have learned in my post-secondary, museum studies, education. The best thing I can say about this job as a collection assistant is that it is always interesting! I have loved getting to dig deep into an artifact’s history. Who made it? Who owned it? Why is it relevant to us in the County of Lennox and Addington today?
What a summer it has been! One of my goals for this summer was to process and preserve archival records that were in need of some conservation attention. The first project that caught my eye was a large box of seventy-two daguerreotype, ambrotype and tintype photographs that were donated to the Archives in the early 1970’s. The small photographs range in date from the 1840 – 1870’s and require secure storage due to the original casing of each photograph.
This summer has been filled with activities for those who love history, science, arts, music, whimsy, nature and those who love to learn! It is no wonder this summer is flying by, we have been a busy spot here at the Macpherson House & Museum. From theatre programs and live concerts with Juno award winning musicians to pottery making and fairy gardens, we have seen lots of excited faces through our doors. We also had a special afternoon tea for the residents of the JMPC, with Barry Lovegrove performing in the gardens.