BLOGS

Latest Posts

2017 marks Canada’s 150th birthday, and to commemorate this anniversary all seven museum curators collaborated on the creation of an exhibit that really highlights what was happening here in Manitoba at the time of Confederation, and the effects of this political shift.  Our Legacies of Confederation: A New Look at Manitoba History opened last week, and runs throughout 2017 so you’ll have plenty of time to check it out. As with any exhibit, there is never enough space to tell all of the stories we want.  Instead, each curator will be blogging about an artifact or specimen in the exhibit, or perhaps things that didn’t make it into the exhibit....
Posted in HBC Collection | Comments closed
Medals that commemorate important events in a nation’s history fill every history museum collection around the planet. Collectors and antique traders adore medals, but let’s be honest: when they’re on display they don’t have the impact of a giant dinosaur skeleton. Medals are small. But that didn’t stop politicians and government officials from clamouring for shiny objects when Canadian Confederation was officially enacted in 1867. In our exhibit “Legacies of Confederation” we have on display not one, but two Confederation medals, minted in 1869, that commemorate the founding moment of the Dominion of Canada. The Confederation Medal is seemingly the first honour of Canada, approved by Queen Victoria in 1868....
Posted in History | Comments closed
After Manitoba entered Confederation in 1870 and the Canadian government negotiated Treaty No. 1 with First Nations leaders, Canada began to actively engage potential immigrants to settle and farm the prairies. The first two groups that arrived in large numbers were English speaking Ontarians and German speaking Mennonites from eastern Ukraine. This first large wave of immigration to Manitoba would begin the irrevocable transformation of the environment and the economy of the province forever. The success of the Mennonites in particular may have helped open the door to other immigrants who did not speak English and had different religious backgrounds compared to the English Protestants and French Catholics who dominated...
Posted in History | Comments closed
Tasting is something we do everyday but many of the things we think we know about taste are actually wrong. So let the debunking begin! Myth #1: You taste food with your tongue. Fact: Your sense of taste involves your tongue AND your nose. When you are sick with a cold, food doesn’t taste very good. This is not because your taste buds aren’t working-it is because your nose isn’t working. To test this, close your eyes, plug your nose and pop a flavoured candy in your mouth. Can you tell which flavour it is? Then unplug your nose and see if you know. What you are experiencing when you...
Posted in Botany | Tagged , , , | Comments closed
Post by Cortney Pachet, Collections Registration Associate (Human History)   Twas the week before Christmas and all through the museum, Artifacts wondered if visitors would see ‘em. Some historical treasures sat smug on display, While other objects remained hidden away. These ornaments once hung on old Christmas trees, Some dating as far back as the 1920s! With the curator in his office and I snug in mine, I catalogued objects from way back in time. When deep in the vault, exploring I go, Finding boxes of Christmas lights from long, long ago. Quick to the shelf, with nitrile gloved paw, I admire the condition, in a reverent awe. The box...
Posted in Collections & Conservation | Comments closed
Post by Janis Klapecki, Collections Management Specialist (Natural History) [Note: This blog contains descriptions and images that may not be suitable for sensitive individuals.] In the Natural Sciences Department, we receive hundreds of specimens each year that will eventually be added to the permanent Scientific Collections. The Curators collect specimens through their many research projects, while other specimens are collected and donated by the general public. Most of these specimens require some very specific and time-consuming preparation before they can be in a state for which a researcher can use them. Fossils are exposed with precision tools, insects are painstakingly pinned, plants are pressed and artfully mounted, and mammal and...
Posted in Collections & Conservation | Comments closed
At the Museum’s recent Surviving the Apocalypse Night participants were asked a variety of questions about the nutritional value of certain foods. Sadly, very few people knew that you can make a beverage high in vitamin C from…Christmas trees! The Indigenous peoples of North America have long known of the health-giving properties of some cone-bearing (also called evergreen) trees. In Canada, First Nations peoples drank an herbal tea of evergreen needles to ward off scurvy, usually in winter when fresh fruits and vegetables were hard to come by. This simple remedy was not known by early British and French explorers, who often succumbed to this disease. Scurvy causes weakness, gum...
Posted in Botany | Tagged , , | Comments closed
This summer I spent three glorious weeks exploring museum collections, historic ships, archaeological and historic sites, and local cuisine in England and Scotland.   Here’s the stats on this trip: 8 cities 22 museums & galleries (including 4 historic ships) 15 heritage sites (including archaeological sites) 2 17th century pubs (for Nonsuch Gallery research!) 380,504 steps (according to my iphone health app) 10 days of train travel 1 roundtrip ferry to Orkney 4 days of driving (eep!) in Orkney I went on this whirlwind trip with two major goals: to view collections related to the HBC; and to conduct research for our upcoming Nonsuch Gallery renewal.  I came back exhausted, but...
Posted in HBC Collection | Comments closed

This is Hallowe’en!

Collections & Conservation

That’s right, boos and ghouls, Hallowe’en is right around the corner! And the History collection at the Manitoba Museum does not disappoint when it comes to its Hallowe’en artifacts. Let’s journey back to a time when homemade popcorn balls and plastic masks with tiny air holes prevailed…   Costumes Elaborate costumes and accessories of today’s youth would shock the Trick-or-Treaters of yesteryear. While we don’t have any old sheets with eyeholes cut out by someone’s mum, we do have a selection of masks favoured by kids in the 1970s. Masks were often worn with matching plastic smocks and featured small eyeholes for reduced visibility and a layer of condensation on...
Posted in Collections & Conservation | Comments closed
Guest blog by Rachel Erickson, Assistant Curator For the past four months, I’ve been working at the Manitoba Museum on a project about contemporary migration, just one part of the large capital renewal project Bringing Our Stories Forward. My project involves researching all aspects of migration to Manitoba; why do people come to Manitoba, and from where, what sort of policies have existed over the years that encourage (or discourage) migration, how have people settled in, and what sort of challenges might they face upon arrival. One of the aims of the project is to collect oral histories about modern migration to Manitoba, and potentially collect new objects that can be...
Posted in History | Comments closed