Meet the New Digital Content & Social Media Assistant!
By Nicole Mulder
Hello everyone and happy Fall! My name is Nicole and while this is the same blog, I am a new face posting to it. I’m excited to be joining the Museum of Lennox & Addington as the new Digital Content and Social Media Assistant while Liz is away for the year. I promise to try my absolute best to continue the wonderful work she has been doing to share the Museum’s happenings and collections (including helping her work towards her goal of sharing that 90% of the collection that is not online!)
I thought I would use this blog post to share a little about myself so you can get to know who is behind the Museum’s next year of digital content and social media posts. I grew up right here in Lennox & Addington—right down the road in good ole Odessa. In hindsight, I think it was the museums, art galleries, archives, and historic sites of L&A and the surrounding area that made me gravitate toward a career in the heritage sector. I even recall going to Macpherson House when I was young and watching Susi Reinink work her weaving magic in the kitchen! So you could say I have always been a museum and history fan, however, I didn’t truly realize the extent of my fandom until my 20s
(L-R) Kirkstall Abbey in Leeds, England where I studied; and then a recent trip to Morocco with visits to Nejjarine Museum of Wooden Arts & Crafts and Volubilis Archaelogical Site
Eventually Pursuing a Career in Heritage
Education-wise, I originally focused on visual arts at the end of high school and then went on to study it at university (nope, not history, museum studies, marketing, or business). It was not until my third year of my degree when I studied abroad in Leeds, England that I truly started thinking about working in heritage. Travelling around the United Kingdom and Europe, going to endless historic sites, museums, galleries, special libraries, and archives, you could say led to my “aha moment”! I not only gained an obsession with travelling to and learning about new places (open to any adventure suggestions!), but I also saw the possibility of working in a heritage environment in my future.
After I graduated from art school, I took a year off and started working with the Kingston & Area Association of Museums, Art Galleries & Historic Sites (KAM). I was able to get my first inside look at the area’s heritage and culture sector when I got my first art contract with KAM. I (re)visited and illustrated all of their member sites (including Macpherson House and the Museum). This continued exposure to places filled with so much historical information inspired me to pursue graduate degrees in Archival Studies and Library Information Studies in Vancouver. Every co-op or placement of my degrees was either in a museum’s or gallery’s collections departments, both archival and object-based. I learned how to work with a wide range of collections—physical and digital—as well as, quickly gained an understanding of how heritage professionals must be able to think on their feet and wear multiple hats at times!
It’s About the Stories
While I am trained as an archivist and librarian and most recently worked at an Archival Assistant at Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre, what I have noticed throughout my work is that I have always been drawn to the stories hidden in the collections I process. One of my archives professors always reminded us “an archivist does not need to read the records.” Well, oops, I can’t help it, I love a good story. Wherever I worked, I would always find myself “distracted” by the stories, whether it was those in the newspapers I was repairing at Bruce County, in the artwork I was cataloguing at the Morris & Helen Belkin Art Gallery in Vancouver, or while I was inventorying the different cannonballs at Murney Tower, imagining the story of how they got the +6400 lbs. Blomefield cannon onto the gun platform (19th century crane??).
All this said, I am excited about this new job at the Museum of Lennox & Addington. I am not only allowed to indulge in such stories, but I am also encouraged to share them with all of you, and invite you to the place where they come to life! Not to mention, I get to combine my love of art and design with museums, history and my obsession with learning new things. And the cherry on top of all of this, I am finally back home in Lennox and Addington, where my own story with museums started. So next time you are by the Museum, I may be a new face, but feel free to say hello!