Confessions of a Curator
Well hello again, you caught me…I am wearing my leggings again and passing them off as pants for the third week in a row, at various times in those weeks, I have quite honestly have lost what day it is, and have had to seek those answers from my new co-workers, Molly (my terrier mix) and Rory (my cat), they don’t usually answer me back and they also don’t know much about collections management or exhibit design…so some days my struggle for real feedback is real!
I came home the last week of December to prepare for this second lockdown by shoving my daughter’s art supplies to one side of her art table in the kid’s playroom, and carved out a 3 x 4 space to call my office for the next little while. Yes, I work among American Girl dolls, toy food, art books, bottle and bottles of paint and glue. However, while I work among Anna’s colourful art, I find I can lost in my work day, so I sigh a bit of relief.
Thankful to our I.T. Department and my VPN connection that allows me continued access to our museum database. Working from home means – cleaning up collection entries and prepping them for their online launch, or I could be seen on another Zoom call to meet with the museum team, organize incoming exhibit installations, or participating in educational webinars and training sessions. In the last week, I have even delved into a new software to help me work on some interpretative labels for museum exhibits. I am not a graphic designer, but I dabble, and it gives me a break from collections management.
So while I juggle my work day, I have two school aged children who also need my support, they need help – logging into their virtual classrooms, uploading assignments, checking math work, advising subject matters, finding online resources, and they also need lunch! Believe me these kids want to eat all the time, I have devised some buffet style eating in my kitchen that has been a life saver! If food is out, I will be left alone. Note to parents: now is a good time to teach your child how to start a load of laundry and cook a simple meal!
In the past few weeks, Alannah and I have managed to get 60 more objects online for you to enjoy. As you know, this past Fall, we have been working on the inventory of the furniture collection. While we are working from home, we have managed to continue to do our review of these records and get some of their stories out there. The lockdown has afforded us the gift of time to tidy the database. What does this mean to you? It means updated search terms, correct spellings, photographs (we have over 2500 object images online), and the inclusion of a relevant object story (aka why do we have this). This editing takes time. Each object can take 3-4 days to complete. Which is why there aren’t 1000s of our museum records out there yet…quality takes time. Take a look at this one in PastPerfect.
Working from home is just that – work. I continue to work away at Past Perfect, sort out the museum exhibit schedule that has been continuously bumped around by COVID, revamp design labels for our existing exhibits, and support the museum team through written blogs, social media posts, webinar courses, and grant writing. While closed, the museum remains quite active behind the scenes. We continue to plan for when the doors re-open and onsite everything returns.
Things I miss – TRAVEL and SUMMER! I was an avid traveller and fully intend to be again. I miss the excitement of discovering new things and while I love my backyard, some days it just doesn’t cut it. So I have discovered the joy of virtual vacationing, which has only added to my bucket list of things to visit. Here is a great article that will perhaps lead you down a few rabbit holes of enjoyment – The 12 Best Virtual Vacations You Can Take From Your Home (tripsavvy.com)
Health Tips from your trusty Curator – go for a walk, step away from your screens, eat fresh fruits and vegetables, try a virtual yoga class, call a friend, and yes it’s okay to sometimes scream into your pillow!
So for the time being , check out our website www.countymuseum.ca for online research resources, contact us if you need help. Amber has some online programming up her sleeve to keep you entertained at home too. I will “see” you one way or the other very soon, take good care and stay safe!