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Guest Blog

If you have been reading the HBC Blog, you are probably aware of some of the work involved with being a curator. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to experience the job firsthand, to see if it is really as great as Amelia makes it sound? My name is Kristina, and for the past couple of months, I have been able to do just that. I am a Masters student studying Curatorial Practices at the University of Winnipeg, and I am working at The Manitoba Museum as an Intern.  So far it has been an amazing experience.

It is fascinating to get a behind-the-scenes look at everything it takes to keep an institution like The Manitoba Museum running. While most of my time is spent job shadowing with Amelia,  I have also had a chance to visit several departments to see the roles they play in creating exhibits, designing educational programming, and keeping our artefacts safe from damage.

Aside from job shadowing, I am also working on a couple of projects for the Museum. One of these projects involves exhibit renewal within the HBC Gallery. Presently, there are several props being utilized, along with the many artefacts on display.  Ideally, we would like to be able to identify which objects are props and which are artefacts, so that we can eventually replace the props with actual artefacts from the collection.   As mentioned in some of our earlier blogs, the HBC Museum Collection is much larger than what is currently on display in the gallery. We simply don’t have the space to display all of the artefacts.

                                                                  2013-12-09 004

Identifying artefacts in the York Boat

At this point, I have completed the first stage of the project. Armed with the inventory binders, I spent a morning just looking at what was on display, recording any discrepancies and identifying which objects were props.  The next step will be to make sure that the props are entered into our database so that we have a better record of exactly what is on the floor at any given time. Once this is all done, I will be able to complete my report, listing recommendations as to how to better use the existing collection by replacing props with actual artefacts. The main goals of this project are to make sure we can optimize the visitor experience, as well as showcasing more of our incredible HBC Museum Collection.

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Amelia Fay

Curator of HBC Collection

See Full Biography

Amelia Fay joined The Manitoba Museum in September 2013. She received her BA in Anthropology from the University of Manitoba, an MA in Archaeology from Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN), and is currently finishing her Doctoral degree from MUN. Amelia’s research has focused on Inuit-European contact along the Labrador coast, and her interests are continually expanding to explore Aboriginal-European contact throughout Canada during the fur trade era.

Amelia’s job as Curator of the Hudson’s Bay Company Museum Collection involves building the collection, responding to public inquiries, preparing exhibits, and conducting her own research. Her research interests centre on the interactions between Europeans (including HBC employees) and Aboriginal peoples as they negotiated space, material culture, and their daily activities. Amelia’s goal is to showcase this amazing collection, and highlight the important role that Aboriginal people played in the establishment of the Hudson’s Bay Company.