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Monthly Archives: December 2012

Showing You the Door

When I started this blog a couple of years ago, one of my main intentions was to share the various items and phenomena that are within close reach of my desk, here on the 4th floor of the Museum tower. With that in mind, and since at lunchtime on New Year’s Eve we have reached a point in the year where serious and scholarly content should not be expected, I have decided to provide you with an annotated view of my office door. In general, this curator’s door is far from curated, in the sense of having organized content. Rather, it is an odd mixture of items that I have…

Posted in Geology & Paleontology | Tagged , , | Comments closed

Adventures of a Conservator in Training

As a requirement for the Collections Conservation and Management program at Fleming College in Peterborough Ontario, all students are required to participate in a 15 week internship at an institution of their choice. I was elated to learn that my request to carry out my internship at The Manitoba Museum was accepted. In September I arrived in Winnipeg eager to learn, and The Manitoba Museum did not disappoint. During my time at the Museum I was able to put my knowledge to work and carried out a number of treatments on some very interesting artefacts in addition to helping collections personnel with gallery maintenance. My time at the museum was…

Posted in Collections & Conservations, Conservation | Comments closed

Testament to the Past

This past fall I had the fortune to visit the Brockinton Site, located just south of Melita, Manitoba. The site is slowly eroding into the Souris River; each year a little more of the site is lost. We know a good deal about this site thanks to E. Leigh Syms who excavated this site in the late 1960s and early 1970s. While no excavations have occurred for 40 years, Leigh Syms continues to study the collections, revealing new insights. The largest part of the site is a large bison pound and kill site where about 1200 years ago First Nation people had successfully killed hundreds of bison. When we arrived at the site we encountered…

Posted in Archaeology, Uncategorized | Comments closed

Everything you should know about the Berens Family Collection

What is the Berens Family Collection? Through the generosity of many community leaders, The Manitoba Museum has recently acquired historically significant artefacts that are currently on display in our Foyer area: Chief’s Treaty Medal No. 5 and Chain, given to Chief Jacob Berens at the signing of Treaty No. 5, September 20, 1875 (H4-2-212 A, B). Chief’s 1901 Commemorative Medal and Ribbon, given to Chief Jacob Berens in 1901, in commemoration of Treaty No. 5, by the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York, later King George VI and Queen Mary, as part of a cross-Canada rail journey (H4-2-213 A, B). Chief’s coat, early 20th century, red wool with gold…

Posted in Ethnology | Comments closed

The botany of libations

With the holiday season beginning, I often find myself thinking about celebrations and how frequently alcohol is part of them.  Although people are familiar with the different kinds of alcohol-rum, vodka, beer etc.-not everyone knows what they are made of.  And what is the difference between lager and ale anyway?  Well you’re in luck.  Alcohol comes from plants and ethnobotany is one of my areas of expertise.  So if you’re terrible at small talk, here are a few bits of alcohol-related trivia that you might want to use as a conversation starter at your next holiday party!

Posted in Botany | Comments closed