Thursday, November 10, 2011

Lest We Forget

Tomorrow individuals from around Chilliwack and District will gather at this community's war memorials. Behind the Chilliwack Museum is the community's cenotaph unveiled in 1923 with the leaded names of 99 service personnel from the First World War and 85 from the Second World War. We will remember them.

Monday, May 30, 2011


Now We Just Have to Move Everything
Some remarkable changes have been made to the Chilliwack Museum and Archives and phase one of our new shelving has been completed. As the old Archives storage area will soon be the new research room, some of the Archival collection has already been transferred. Today also marks the first move of the object collection which numbers some 8000+ artifacts. The project will take some time to work through as storage locations are confirmed against the database. Phase 2 of the shelving project starts shortly and when completed, possibly by the end of July, we will really see some major changes in the look and feel of our renovated and new quarters.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

We’ve Got Paint

It’s all too exciting!
Since the shovels hit the ground on January 3, 2011 we have watched as our new addition has been set upon the landscape. Its been great to watch as the contractors set about their objectives with us on the sidelines, cheering amongst ourselves, as we saw each step completed. Today the painters have arrived and the rollers are rolling as the splash of colour brings a sense of completion to the interior walls. We are close to having our new addition and in just a few short weeks our new space will be ready for the next step.

That next round of excitement begins with the arrival and installation of state of the art rolling shelving. It will be magnificent once the installers have completed the shelving and the real fun begins. That is when the collections can return probably starting at the end of May or early June. Then it’s sorting out the collection locations on the database, which will take a bit of time, as we check and re-check ensuring that these items can be readily accessed.

The summer will be a busy time and the above only reflects the completion of the storage area. We still have a new research room to complete and we are actively engaged in raising funds to ensure that the new visitor’s area will be a warm and welcoming environment. After all, when you travel a long way to find your roots the memory of that discovery is all the more precious when found in a place we can all be proud of.

Friday, February 25, 2011

"This is so much more than a box!"

Boxes, Storage and Segues

Our new addition is really coming along and each day we get a little bit closer to having more space for Chilliwack’s important collections. It is times, like these, that I think upon the staggering amount of packing and squirreling away of the collection while we wait in anticipation. The bubble wrap, tissue paper, storage boxes, places to put it all, etc.

Somehow it also reminds me of another time when in 2000 the British Columbia Museum’s Association co-hosted a conference with the Western Museum’s Association. Held at the Victoria Conference Centre one discussion stands out in particular, the amazing presentation made by Fred Wilson a conceptual artist whose discussion spoke of his work in partnership with museums. In a nutshell, Mr. Wilson challenges museums and their staff in their methods of interpretation and presentation. What are we really saying when we choose to bring together these ideas for public consumption?

However, returning to our current boxes and storage issues, and understanding that I love to segue, how does Mr. Wilson’s work relate to our current project? One example that Fred Wilson chose to highlight in his presentation was from a re-interpretation of exhibits at the highly acclaimed British Museum in London, England. In this fine setting Mr. Wilson discovered the original box used to transport the Rosetta Stone from Egypt to England thereby provoking a discussion of the removal of this type of object from its country of origin.

The Rosetta Stone, which is apparently the most visited object at the British Museum, has been on display since 1802 and in July 2003, on the 250th anniversary of the British Museum, Egypt first requested its repatriation. OK enough discussion, let’s add some personal thoughts and segues! Three things come to mind, apart from a discussion of the Rosetta Stone's repatriation.

Firstly that Mr. Wilson, in seeking powerful examples for his project, found this circa 1801 original storage box stored inside the British Museum. Amazing! Secondly, it reminds me of all those precious collections that come into the Museum and Archives in all styles of boxes and containers. We always check these thoroughly as at times these can be just as significant as the contents. Finally - that the British Museum is over 250 years old. Imagine! It reminds us that we, as museums and archives, collect all of these items not just for the present but for future generations. Maybe we do have a lot of material in storage, and perhaps it has not always been exhibited, but in the future, and specifically in 2207 the Chilliwack Museum and Historical Society will be 250 years old! Amazing – Imagine!

"This is so much more than a box!"

The new addition to the Chilliwack Museum and Archives will house collections relating to 10,000 years of human history in this area. It will be ready in the "flashiest of flashes!"

Just for fun, visit this!

Monday, January 31, 2011

We’re Still Here!

What's all the Buzz about?

So - some time has gone by since the last blog but, like drones in a beehive, we have been extremely busy with our new addition. Construction started on January 3rd, 2011 and prior to that time we spent many days and hours creating a new storage plan blueprint and developing a fundraising initiative!

On the other hand, the careful packing of the artefact collection has also taken up considerable time and will not be available to researchers for the next several months. Existing shelving is either being relocated or removed as we make way for new additional rolling and static shelving. It will be magnificent. Then the artefact collection will return to its new quarters and the work of changing all the storage locations in the database will become a priority.

The archives’ collections remain in place throughout this time and will continue to be accessible though we welcome advance notice of your arrival. Just give us a call! The archival collections will simply shift position from their existing location to their new location when the shelving installation is completed. Then, like the artefact collections, new locations will be updated in the database.

We will also have a much larger reference and research room so these are exciting times. We can hardly wait for the building to be completed sometime in April. Then the shelving installation begins and so too a myriad of other tasks. I’ll keep you posted with some more regular updates and hope to muse about other museum topics in the near future!

Ciao for now.