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Author Archives: Kathy Nanowin

So, once something is named, isn’t that it?

Recently, my husband asked me what I was working on, and when I told him I was updating the nomenclature for specimens in the Family Polygonaceae, he looked at me funny. I realized that as a non-biology person, my response was not that informative to him. It did not tell him that I was working on updating the official names of plant specimens, or even which plants they were, and…

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The Amazing Criddles, Pt. 2 – Wawanesa Site Visit

One of the lesser known aspects of museum work involves the lending and borrowing of artefacts and specimens. This isn’t to say you can borrow the Nonsuch for a lovely family sailing holiday, but other museums and heritage sites often work with us to make the most of our collections. Lower Fort Garry has several pieces of our HBC Museum Collection onsite to illustrate the rich history of the fur…

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The Amazing Criddles – Part 1: The Family

Within the History Collection at The Manitoba Museum, we have sub-collections of artefacts, tied together by object type (like our collection of crocks) or social movement (like our fraternal orders material). One of our significant collections comes from a homesteading family whose breadth of material culture has caused my coworkers and I to ask on more than one occasion, “did the Criddles ever throw anything away?!” In 1882, an Englishman…

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Adventures of a Summer Student

As a child, the Manitoba Museum was my favourite field trip destination. I loved it all, but my favourite part was the Urban Gallery- particularly Madame Taro’s small apartment, which I thought was quite glamorous. Visits to the museum— either with classmates or family— activated my interest in history and museum work, and this summer I was given the opportunity to join the team through the Young Canada Works program…

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Hey – Who’s that Mann?

There are two new exhibits opening this summer in our Parklands/Mixed Woods Gallery here at The Manitoba Museum and we couldn’t be more excited to soon be able to share our work! The Conservation lab has been working hard these past few months to get everything documented, cleaned and mounted for its grand debut, including a very important Mann. Yes, this Mann was in fact a man, more fully known…

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Inspiring Daphne Odjig mural back to its original glory

When people ask me what inspired me to work in the museum field, I can pinpoint my answer to a single visit to The Manitoba Museum when I was twelve years old. That summer we spent our vacation touring around Manitoba on day trips, packed into our Pontiac 6000 station wagon, visiting small local museums and landmarks that set one little town apart from the next (here’s looking at you,…

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Not Quite Sandblasting – The Joy of Air Abrasive Cleaning

These past few months the Conservation lab has been filled with archaeological treasures from fur trading posts throughout the province. Artefacts range from small silver buttons, to beads, to awls and even the tiniest of padlocks. My concentration however has been on the treatment of artefacts composed of iron. These objects are usually covered in bright orange, red or brown corrosion products with mud and other debris attached – essentially…

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What’s in a name? It Does Matter

An unexpected aspect that has caught my interest while cataloguing is the names of collectors and identifiers. For example, there are hundreds of beetles in the museum’s entomology collection. Many of these insects were collected and identified in the 1920’s and 30’s by G.S. Brooks and J.B. Wallis, but also by R.A. Scrapneck, McKillop and Preston (both with initials W.B.), R.E. Wrigley and others in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s….

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Cataloguing Tiger Beetles

Tiger beetles are apparently very difficult to catch, although one would not know it when seeing the great number of tiger beetles in the museum’s collection. A quick survey revealed the Museum has over 500 pinned specimens in three genera; Cicindela, Ellipsoptera and Amblycheila. After cataloguing a couple hundred tiger beetles, I became curious about their biology, and did some research. Tiger beetles are found all over the world and…

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We’re Back in the Rigging Again!

Well, after thirteen years or so, the Museum’s conservators are back climbing in the Nonsuch rigging, in order to check and clean the lines, sails and masts. This is a very exciting development for Collections and Conservation. A bit of background information – amendments to Manitoba’s Workplace Safety and Health regulations in 2002 resulted in stricter requirements for workers climbing at heights. The Nonsuch therefore had to be provided with…

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