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Author Archives: Kathy Nanowin

How to disassemble an artefact

Recently, conservator Lisa May worked with the Museum’s Operational Services staff to smoothly disassemble an artefact so it could be moved out of a basement storage area. The artefact is a display case that came from a prominent Winnipeg business, Winnipeg Music Supply, which closed in 1984, at which time the display case was donated to the Manitoba Museum.  It was stored for many years at the Museum’s storage building…

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Door to door – a collecting trip

The Manitoba Museum recently acquired a number of objects that add to an existing collection. The Wilson family collection of bottles and crocks is an extensive one, with over 1600 artefacts.  The Wilsons contacted the Museum with an offer to donate a related collection of ceramic footwarmers and various Medalta ware. Curator Roland Sawatzky recommended we accept the offered items; the subject went to our Collection Committee, which approved it…

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Harry Finnigan

Harry Finnigan, founder and principal of McKay Finnigan and Associates in Winnipeg, is recognized internationally as a leader in downtown revitalization. Born and raised in Winnipeg’s inner city, he has extensive experience in community economic development, policy development, urban and regional planning and project management. Harry overcame initial adversities in Winnipeg’s inner city with his steadfast educational development, culminating in a Masters of City planning from the University of Manitoba. …

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Museum receives funding support for database upgrade

The Manitoba Museum uses a collections management database program called Cuadra STAR, licensed from Cuadra Associates, a California software company. The program is used for documenting the Museum’s permanent object collection.  The collections management work the Collections and Conservation Department does relies heavily on this database program. It is where we record all of our collection transactions, from the time an object is considered for acquisition to when it legally…

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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…

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Preserving Traditional Knowledge and Practices: How does it relate to Museum Conservation?

I recently attended a very interesting conference in Oaxaca, Mexico. It was the 8th North American Textile Conservation Conference. Naturally, the focus was on preservation of textiles.  Although I’m not a textile conservation specialist, I do work on textiles here at the Museum, and the conference offered a chance to visit a different area of Mexico, one less travelled by tourists.   As with most conferences, there were paper presentations,…

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Holding it Together

The Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) is part of the federal Department of Canadian Heritage, created to promote the preservation of Canada’s cultural heritage. Every two to three years, CCI develops and hosts in Ottawa a symposium on a conservation topic. For a week in October conservator Lisa May attended Symposium 2011 – Adhesives and Consolidants for Conservation: Research and Applications. Internationally attended, the symposium covered the newest research, techniques and…

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New safety lines will allow staff to inspect Nonsuch rigging

Look up, way up… at the dust on the Nonsuch’s rigging and spars. Museum staff have not been able to climb the ship rigging since Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health regulations were amended several years ago. In order to address the stricter requirements, steel safety cables were installed in the Nonsuch Gallery two years ago. However, they turned out to be less usable than we hoped. As part of a…

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“Paperwork is my life”:department staff offers Collections Management training for Association of Manitoba Museums

The Manitoba Museum is home to over 2.6 million artefacts and specimens. One role of the Collections and Conservation staff is to maintain records for each item from the time it is offered to the museum, accepted into the collection and then accessed for research and exhibits or loaned to other institutions. While the numbers may be smaller, the same Collections Management practices are used in community museums throughout the…

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What’s Growing in Storage?

While perusing the collection in storage Roland Sawatzky, Curator of History, discovered something growing… Artefacts are donated to The Manitoba Museum from all walks of life. Some may still be in their original packaging, never touched, while others may be very well used. Artefacts, regardless of their overall condition, can be very sensitive to the environments in which they are stored. The museum uses dedicated HVAC units to keep the…

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