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Monthly Archives: January 2013

The Old Museum Lives On

  Winnipeg has a long and complicated history of museums featuring natural history collections. Our current museum was a centennial project, opened in 1970, but we are very fortunate that we possess vestiges of those earlier museums, such as minerals from the Carnegie Library collection and mounted animals from some of the early taxidermists. The most visible and best-documented of these “inheritances” are pieces that were exhibited in the old Manitoba Museum, which occupied part of the Winnipeg Civic Auditorium from 1932 until about 1970. We have a good record of specimens from the old museum because they were numbered, with the numbers listed in a book. We also have…

Posted in Collections & Research, Exhibit, Geology & Paleontology | Tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

If people were like pollinators…

I was recently watching the hilarious yet scientifically accurate video on the mating habits of bees done by Isabella Rossellini (http://www.sundancechannel.com/greenporno/?playlist_id=14433699001#video_section).  Coincidentally, I’ve also been reading about the quite bizarre and sometimes gruesome life cycles of wild pollinators for my upcoming Prairie Pollination exhibit.  Inspired by Isabella, I found myself wondering what it would be like if people were like pollinators… If people were like hummingbird pollinators, we would run as fast as a car drives on the highway.  A 150 lb person would drink at least 300 lbs of soda and maple syrup every day (woo hoo sugar rush!).  When the sun set we would enter a state of…

Posted in Botany, Exhibits | Comments closed

“Relics of Interest”

Since my last blog entry, I have continued to learn more about the HBC Museum Collection.  Two conference papers – one for the 2012 Rupert’s Land Colloquium in May 2012, and the other for the 18th Inuit Studies Conference in October 2012 – helped to focus my research in specific directions, and opened up many new questions about the collection.  Most of the summer, and part of the fall, was occupied in writing and preparing an illustrated book which highlights and places in context a sample of the objects in the HBC Museum Collection.  Relics of Interest: Selections from the Hudson’s Bay Company Museum Collection, arrived back from the printers…

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Peguis Pipe visits Peguis First Nation

On Saturday, December 1st, 2012, the Peguis First Nation hosted a Hunters’ and Gatherers’ Feast in honour of high school students who had successfully completed a course in bush skills.  They were also honouring Chief Glenn Hudson and celebrating the inauguration of a new beaded otter fur Chief’s hat made by women in the community.  There were about 250 people in the community hall for the event, which featured the Loud Eagle Drum Group and numerous dancers.  For the first time in many years, an old friend returned to the community; a black pipestone horse’s head pipe bowl which once belonged to the founder of the First Nation, Chief Peguis…

Posted in Ethnology | Comments closed

The Urban Gallery – Guest blog by Alexandra Kroeger, Practicum student from the University of Winnipeg

Lately I’ve been conducting an informal survey amongst family and friends on what they know about the Urban Gallery. On the bright side, most people do know what the Urban Gallery is. Even if they don’t know it by name, as soon as I explain it as, “You know. The street? With the theatre?” people know exactly what I’m talking about. If the person was around in the 70s, they’ll probably add, “didn’t they used to sell candy there?” (They did.) Once I ask what the Urban Gallery represents, however, I start getting blank looks. For the record, those who answer “Winnipeg in the 1920s!” are absolutely correct. But even…

Posted in History | Comments closed

Artefacts in strange places

Recently, Collections and Conservation staff spent some time in two of our more unusual storage locations, in order to improve the conditions of artefacts there. Due to overcrowding in TMM’s climate-controlled collection storage areas, there are artefacts located in less than ideal conditions. Staff worked on several artefacts in these areas, cataloguing, condition reporting, photographing and finally covering them up with polyethylene after a good vacuuming. The most important factors in deciding to place these objects here are the materials of which they are made (least sensitive to environmental changes or extremes), robustness of the artefacts, and their size – sometimes there just isn’t room in the other storage areas….

Posted in Collections & Conservation, Collections Management, Conservation | Comments closed