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Monthly Archives: March 2012

The Winnipeg Tribune “Gargoyles”

“Gargoyle” is a popular term for whimsical statues of odd looking beings attached to the top of old buildings. The museum was offered a gargoyle in 2011 that originated in Winnipeg, and after some further research I found that we had another gargoyle from the same structure, the Tribune Building. The Winnipeg Tribune was an influential city newspaper that was founded in 1890 and closed in 1980. In 1913 a…

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Step 4 Birch Bark Canoe

On Sunday we started to insert the planking and ribs into the canoe. We started at the end and worked towards the middle. The pairs of ribs are for either end, keeping the shape identical front to back. A finished birch bark canoe can technically be paddled with either end as the stern or bow. We decided to use two different colours of spruce roots at each end to differentiate, the bow…

Posted in Archaeology, News | Comments closed

The Bluebird of Halfiness?

A recent web-based discussion about the identification of an odd-coloured bluebird reminded me of a similar odd bluebird in the Museum collections. There are three bluebird species in North America: Eastern, Western, and Mountain. Contrary to what one might expect from their names, Manitoba is home to the Eastern and Mountain Bluebird, the Western being found in Canada only on the other side of the Rockies from us. Males and…

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More Pictures of Canoe Building

Assembling the wood frame

Posted in Archaeology, News | Comments closed

The Birch Bark Canoe Step 3

Over the course of the next 6 days all efforts were on completing the Birch Bark canoe. Each morning I would get up at 6:00 and review my notes and look at the canoe in order to see if they were complete. Once I updated my notes and had coffee and breakfast work would start on the canoe. All photographs from this post are the property of Kevin Brownlee (personal…

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A valuable feather in the Museum’s “cap”

As curators of some sizeable collections (>100,000 in Zoology alone), we are frequently asked what the most valuable specimen or most important one among them might be. Certainly, the collection contains several items that are “one-ofs”, or are the biggest, or most colourful, or even worth a good deal of money in the marketplace. But value, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. We recently received a request…

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John Halkett, William Kempt, & the Red River Settlement

John Halkett’s visit to British North America came just a decade after his brother-in-law, Lord Selkirk, initiated the Red River resettlement scheme – and the bicentenary of the arrival of the Selkirk settlers is being commemorated in many ways in 2012.  There is a variety of objects in the HBC Museum Collection that relate to these formative years of the Red River Settlement, starting with the Halkett collection.  Another important group…

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Focus on cataloguing: an interesting artefact

    Part of a Collections Assistant’s work in the Museum’s History Department is to fully catalogue artefacts which have been acquired for the permanent collections. This involves assigning a unique museum number to the object, writing a description, explaining how it was used and by whom, and researching how it relates to Manitoba’s history.  When researching artefacts, the Museum has an excellent Reference Library, where staff can check out books…

Posted in Collections & Conservation, Collections Management | Comments closed

Capturing a Celestial Dance

Jupiter and Venus aer close together in the evening sky – and you can capture the scene easily with your basic digital camera.

Posted in Astronomy, Planetarium, Science Gallery & Planetarium | Comments closed

Congratulations to Ed!

Ed Dobrzanski is a “fixture” at the Museum.  He had been a volunteer here before I started back in in 1993, and he has volunteered continuously for the past 20 years. Ed has done tremendous work as an amateur paleontologist, collecting, preparing, studying, identifying, and cataloguing fossils. He has contributed to paleontological field and laboratory work in a great variety of ways. For his all-round efforts, many of us are…

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