Now What?

Another four months, another change.

That sounds really familiar for some reason, doesn’t it?

Though I had planned to occasionally rite about my summer term experiences at Fanshawe Pioneer Village, it looks like all I can do now is an end-of-summer retrospective.

Turns out that being an archive assistant is very busy work! My internship at the Pioneer Village was a great experience that gave me a chance to work with many aspects of museums. Not only did I work with the Village’s archives, but also with their collections, their exhibition space and with the interpretive staff. I spent most of my time working in the Village’s archives, but certainly not all of it.

The largest project I was involved with was the relocation project I mentioned last time, though ‘moving a few collections’ is certainly underselling what we did. Moving, conserving, accessioning and storing several thousands artifacts is no mean feat. The sheer number and variety of artifacts that were moved was downright astonishing. Everything from sleighs to stoves to safes and clocks to chairs to cookware were in evidence.

The projects that I spent the most time on, however, were based in the Village archives. Although originally I was only going to complete one archival project, this soon blossomed into a much larger undertaking. In the end, I created and organized eight new collections, wrote Finding Aids for them (Finding Aids are archival directories- they tell you how collections are organized and how to find documents within them) and relocated them to new places in the archives storage area. These eight collections totalled more than twelve hundred documents and represented several weeks of steady and rewarding work.

I also interpreted historic buildings- while in costume!- helped design and implement an exhibit, cleaned and conserved a great many unique objects and got to work with an amazing collection of historic artifacts and objects.

In all, the summer term was a great sucess. Not only did I gain a deal of useful experience, but I helped out a local institution in a very real way.


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