Author Archives: Cindy McLellan

Science – how sweet it is! From sunshine to sugar, growing it right

Fifth in a series about the BC Sugar records

In an earlier post we showcased the work of BC Sugar chemists and the records they created and used. Company agriculturists and plant geneticists also contributed to sugar beet production research. The first PhD hired by BC Sugar was Dr. Frank Peto, an agriculturalist with a doctorate in cytogenetics from the University of Wales.

Dr. Frank Peto in a sugarcane field in the Dominican Republic at the BC Sugar-owned Ozama Sugar Refining Company, ca.1945. Reference code: 2011-092.4388

Dr. Frank Peto in a sugarcane field in the Dominican Republic at the BC Sugar-owned Ozama Sugar Refining Company, ca.1945. Reference code: 2011-092.4388.

Dr. Peto was head of BC Sugar’s agricultural research department. His career started as a National Research Council plant researcher and his specialized knowledge led to working with beet seeds at Buckerfields Ltd. In 1944 the portion of Buckerfields dealing with sugar beet seeds was purchased by BC Sugar. Continue reading

Science – how sweet it is! Chemistry at BC Sugar

Fourth in a series about the BC Sugar records

Pictured here are three of the BC Sugar laboratory staff members in 1916: Maggie McKenzie, Ernie Abbott, and R.B. This photograph was taken on second floor office building at BC sugar. Reference code: 2011-092.1854.

Three laboratory staff members in 1916: Maggie McKenzie, Ernie Abbott and R.B.  Reference code: 2011-092.1854.

The science of sugar! The refining of sugarcane or sugar beets to make the sugar products that we all know and love requires expertise and scientific precision. The science carried out at BC Sugar is well reflected in the records that were donated to the City of Vancouver Archives. I would like to share with you some of the records that show the science and scientists that worked at the company. Continue reading

Spotlight on volunteers – Kaitlin Haley

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.

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

Happy Easter from the Archives!

We will be closed for the four-day Easter weekend. See you again in April!

A  Happy Easter! Front view. Reference code: AM1052-: AM1052 P-878

A Happy Easter! Front view. Reference code: AM1052-: AM1052 P-878

This little gem was sent to Elsie from her husband Ted sometime between 1914 and 1918. This embroidered postcard belongs to a type known as “silks,” which were made in France and bought by Allied soldiers during the First World War.

A  Happy Easter! Back view. Reference code: AM1052-: AM1052 P-878

A Happy Easter! Back view. Reference code: AM1052-: AM1052 P-878

Spotlight on volunteers – Sean DeMaio

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!

Catalogue card drawer CANADA A to CHI – conquered by Sean!

Continue reading

Correspondence through the decades at BC Sugar

Third in a series about the BC Sugar records

Office work has changed dramatically over the last few decades. This fact is driven home daily as I process 100 years of BC Sugar records. This is especially true with regard to the company’s correspondence, and I’d like to share my archivist’s observations on the way these records were produced and organized over the years. 

BC Sugar office interior circa 1920s. Reference code: AM1592-1-S2-F2: 2011-092.0400.

The vast majority of the correspondence created in most offices today is email. Most of us create new email threads every day without a thought to the medium’s rather short history and the convenience of this form of communication. Emails are sent around the world and between people who sit within a few steps of each other with the same ease and amount of thought. Not that long ago, office technology was very different. Continue reading

SAA 2012 Annual Meeting in San Diego – Beyond Borders

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

Something’s cooking in the Archivist’s kitchen

Second in a series about the BC Sugar records

While continuing to process our BC Sugar fonds, I had the pleasure of finding some cookbooks and they inspired me to try some historical recipes. Read on to see how they turned out.

“Great dessert ideas…try Rogers on ice cream!” Reference code: AM1592-S7-F1-: 2011-092.1557

Cookbooks are a favourite resource for social and cultural historians as well as scholars of gender studies and women’s studies. But the list of academics that use cookbooks as sources does not end there. Studying literature can be enriched by knowing what people were eating and cooking at various times. Continue reading

The Archives continues ‘pinning’ content to Historypin!

This isn’t the first time we’ve blogged about our Historypin page. We’ve recently taken the time, however, to add a number of new features to our Historypin Channel. In addition to over 200 new photos, we’ve added a number of site-specific moving image files from the 1920s to the 1970s!

Here is a screenshot with one of our photographs ‘pinned’ in Street View. Using the ‘Fade’ bar on the left you can fade out the archival image to see what that intersection looks like in Street View today.

One of our summer interns, Jesse Cumming, identified 200+ photos to add to our Historypin Channel. He also created a couple of unique “Tours” (click on the “Tours” tab to view). The first is called Vancouver in Motion and collects all our newly added moving image clips. The second, A 360° trip down Burrard, brings together photographs from the City of Vancouver Transportation Division, to create a tour down Burrard St. from Broadway to Hastings, showing 360° views of intersections along the way. Continue reading

Spotlight on volunteers – Maggie Linardic

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