My summer internship at the City of Vancouver Archives was filled with wonderful experiences along with the occasional adventure, so much so that it has taken me a while to catch my breath and finally write about it. As a student in the Master of Art Conservation program at Queen’s University, the Archives fostered an ideal learning environment for a conservator-in-training to reinforce the skills acquired through the past academic year. I was fortunate to learn from not one but two experienced conservators. Working under the supervision of Sue Bigelow and Rosaleen Hill, the Digital Conservators at the Archives, I had the privilege of taking in a double dose of valuable knowledge.
The Award of Merit 1943, one of the many spectacular works of art found in the Archives. This image consists of merged photographs of the parchment before (left) and after (right). treatment.
Kaitlin Haley began volunteering at the Archives in the summer of 2012. After completing a Bachelor of Arts degree at UBC in history and political science in 2010, she worked as a flight attendant, taking a break from school and deciding on a graduate studies program. An interest in archives and libraries lead her to us. Like many of our other volunteers, Kaitlin has given of her time generously elsewhere including lifeguarding for the World Police and Firefighter Games, running activities at the Musqueam Reading Club and facilitating and helping to organize events for the Beauty Night Society.
Kaitlin at UBC holding her B.A.
After being accepted to several archival and library schools across Canada, Kaitlin chose the program farthest from this coast, Halifax. She will be earning a Master of Library and Information Studies at Dalhousie starting in 2014. Her choice to defer for a year will allow her to continue working for the UN as a flight attendant. Between stints in Africa, which she is currently visiting, we hope Kaitlin will find some down time to visit us before she goes jetting off again! Continue reading
As a student in the Master of Library and Information Studies degree at UBC, I never thought that I would get the chance to work in an archives, so when the opportunity came up I jumped at the chance. My professional experience project at the Archives was to catalogue the preservation and conservation collection that was housed in the Archives lab. Although it may not seem obvious, the Archives has a small library of books and journals, which is used by archives patrons in the reading room and by Archives staff. The collection includes items that are of interest to people studying the history of Vancouver and the local industry and culture as well as professional materials for both the archival and preservation staff. It was my pleasure to work with this fascinating collection of books and serials.
Books on the shelf with Library of Congress bookmarks ready for labeling. Photo by Allison Hasselfield.
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Sean DeMaio volunteered for us for three months in the fall of 2012. In this short period of time, he spent 100 hours at the Archives while still working at the Women’s Health Research Institute at the Research Branch of BC Women’s Hospital. Sean holds a Master’s degree from SFU in Health Policy, where he researched recruitment incentives of physicians in rural BC for his thesis. This led to his involvement in several interesting health research initiatives, such as doing research and writing a report showing the cost effectiveness of live music therapy for patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Health research work provided experience with data analysis and information management which is what Sean would like to refocus his career on. Volunteering at the Archives was a first step and getting a Masters of Library and Information Studies degree will be the next.
Catalogue card drawer CANADA A to CHI – conquered by Sean!
The City of Vancouver Archives was kind enough to adopt me as an intern this summer. Never before has twelve weeks passed by so quickly! During my time at the Archives, I had the pleasure of dabbling in a number of aspects of archival work, including some unexpected outreach work acting as a researcher in the Archives’ new instructional video.
Rachel hard at work as Researcher #1 in the Archives’ 2012 how-to video. Still from video.
Artistic expression aside, I can now proudly say that I have processed a group of records from start to finish, appraising, selecting, arranging and describing the records of Richard Dopson, a prominent member of the Vancouver gay community and an important individual in the development of gay sports in the city. Organizing the records created over the last 30 years of passionate involvement on the part of Mr. Dopson was no small task! Vancouver hosted the Gay Games in 1990 and Dopson was co-chair of this international event. Continue reading
There are a number of things which bring joy to an archivist’s heart: the tactile pleasure of (carefully!) handling an old and worn ledger, the completion of a meticulously-filled spreadsheet of file and item descriptions, rows upon rows of immaculate Hollinger boxes, and trays of homemade treats in the office. However, as an intern at the City of Vancouver Archives over the summer, I came to learn that it is often the many large and small discoveries which occur in the process of archival work that end up being the most gratifying and memorable experiences.
Kevin Owen with Major Matthews and Jack the Cat. Photograph by Rachel Sim.
Some of these discoveries are of the dramatic variety, such as when you are removing a piece of art from a frame for rehousing, only to find that the backing board in the frame is in fact a painted photograph from the 1890s. Continue reading
My self-funded trip to San Diego to attend the Society of American Archivists Annual Meeting was a fantastic professional experience. I met some great people who are working on inspiring projects.
The view from the San Diego convention center. Photo by Cindy McLellan
Keynote speaker Jon Voss of Historypin set an exciting tone for the conference with his thoughtful and passionate multi-media presentation. Not an archivist himself, Voss does enjoy working with archivists and started working with and thinking about linked open data back in the early 1990s. Continue reading
Maggie Linardic has been volunteering at the Archives for over a year now. Maggie holds a Fine Arts degree with a major in photography from the Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Currently she is enrolled at Langara College in the Library and Information Technology Program. Combined with her interest in photography she became aware of volunteer opportunities at the Archives through another volunteer, Helen Lee: thank you Helen! Through her experience working at a small art gallery and studio, Maggie arrived at the Archives and the Langara Program with experience cataloguing artworks.
Maggie with a binder of photo descriptions and photocopies of original photographs! Read on to find out about the Binders project.
The Archives has set up a variety of projects for Maggie, allowing her to gain more cataloguing experience and have some fun handling photographs and negatives. Maggie created item-level descriptions for many of the photographs in the Leslie F. Sheraton fonds. This is a large collection of photographs so this project is a work in progress – some slides are still awaiting titles. The grant-funded scanning part of this project has been completed. The Archives is excited that our new database permits us to offer the scans we create in higher resolution than before. Continue reading
David Marriott began volunteering at the Archives last September and in that time has dedicated around 300 hours to the Archives! David holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree with a major in Film Production from Concordia University’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. David is the writer/director of numerous short films including Dapper (2007), winner of The Muse Entertainment Enterprises Scholarship, and Dreamland (2009), winner of the Special Jury Mention, Festival des Films de la Relève . His most recent film is the short Backlot (2012). In 2010, David co-created the Black and White Film Foundation, a non-profit screening black and white films at the J.A. De Seve Theatre.
David at our 2011 screening, “Celebrating Yaletown Productions” at the Vancity Theatre.
At the Archives, David has had the opportunity to work on many projects. The Celebrating Yaletown Productions screening was a special event for which he helped design advertising and event materials. David also had the opportunity to sit in the editing suite with Michael Collier, the donor and curator, while the Digibeta tape for the show was being created. This summer David is helping with our screening for 2012. He will not be in town to enjoy the fruits of his labours, but if you will be here mark November 18th on your calendar now for Vintage Vancouver! Continue reading
Doris Fiedrich has dedicated over 200 hundred hours of her time to the Archives since she started volunteering in July of 2011. Her interest in the Archives was sparked when visiting on a class tour as part of her curriculum at Langara’s Library and Information Technology Diploma Program. A woman of many talents, Doris is a photographer who has had many pieces featured in local exhibits. For many years Doris exhibited at Artists in our Midst; here are some of the photos she took at last year’s event. In addition to her portrait, dance, and event photography business, Doris invested a great deal of time and energy in education and around raising her daughter in a home education/ alternative school environment. A love of books draws many people to work in libraries–Doris hopes to marry a love of books with her other passions, art and photography, at a special collections or art library.
These photographs are featured in the Archives’ newest Video Wall display. Reference codes AM1477-1-S5-: CVA 1477-259 (top) and AM640-: CVA 260-414
The eye of a photographer is evident in the new Video Wall show Doris curated for us using photographs from the Archives. Continue reading