Collection Glimpse: The Manitoba Museum

This is the sixth segment in a series of posts entitled, “Collection Glimpses.”  Each post in the series  focuses on a unique collection, innovative repository, or a not well known cultural heritage institution.

 The Manitoba Museum is the largest heritage and science centre in Manitoba.  Founder in 1965, the Museum’s collections highlight the heritage of the region, while the planetarium and science centre focus on hands-on learning. 

The most unique thing about the Manitoba Museum is perhaps its emphasis on 3D walk through galleries within a museum setting.  Unlike most museum settings which are two-dimensional spaces, three-deminsional galleries provide a feeling of immersion in a setting. Some of the Museum’s notable 3D galleries include: Nonsuch, a full-size 17th century sailing vessel, the Urban Gallery, which takes you back in time to Winnipeg during the 1920′s, and the Ancient Seas exhibit, which includes three screen animation of what the sea was like in Manitoba years ago.  Ancient Seas was featured in the March/April issue of Muse.

The Manitoba Museum also has a number of innovative fundraising programs.  The Museum`s Adopt an Artefact program, an idea similar to the WWF`s adopt an endangered animal program, allows donors to symbolically adopt an artefact of their choice.  The Adopt an Artefact helps make donations a bit more tangible to donors and is allows non-display artefacts to be brought to the attention of donors. Other fundraising initiatives allow donors to donate to a special project.  These projects may include preservation work on a large exhibit, development of an interactive exhibit, or outreach programming.  Similar to the adoption program, special project fundraising helps people visualize and identify what they are donating to.

The Museum`s website provides a great overview of the organization`s educational programs and galleries. Additionally, the museum has digitized part of its collection and made it available via a searchable database.  Each item in the database includes a picture and basic descriptive identifiers.  The collection photographs are a great resource, however I wish more contextual and historical information was available about the collections.

Photo credits: ajbatac and quinet

Collection Glimpse: The Canadian Lesbian and Gay Arcvhies

This is the first post in a new series of posts entitled “Collection Glimpses.”  Each post in the series will focus on a unique collection, innovative repository, or a not well known cultural heritage institution.

We are family button- Karen Andrews. CLGA

The Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives (CLGA) is located in Toronto, Ontario and was founded in 1979.  CLGA aims to “acquire, preserve, organize, and give public access to information and materials in any medium, by and about LGBT people, primarily produced in or concerning Canada.”  Currently CLGA is the second largest LGBT archive in the world.

The CLGA’s archival holdings are unique not only in their subject matter but in the inclusion of nontraditional archival material types.  For example, the CLGA has an extensive collection of t-shirts, buttons, matchbooks, erotica, and other material related the the Canadian LGBT community.  The CLGA also has a variety of more traditional archival material including personal and organizational records, photographs, artwork, cartographic material, and audio-visual items.

 In addition to the extensive holdings of the CLGA, the Archives has an rich publication history. Since 1979, the CLGA has published or helped publish 15 works  on Gay and Lesbian heritage and culture.

The current downside of the CLGA is the limited hours the Archive is open to the public.  Recently, this lack of on site availability has been partially compensated by the digitized holdings which can be browsed and searched online.  However, currently only a small percentage of items have been made available online and most researchers are still reliant on the physical holdings of the CLGA.

Despite the limited hours, the CLGA is the best resource for primary source material on the Canadian LGBT heritage.  The grassroots and community based nature of the CLGA is evident in its holdings, collection policies, and outreach.

Photo credit: Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives