By Beeber, Al on March 13, 2018.
The Galt Museum and Archives will be continuing the audit of its artifacts and updating its database for much of the next year.
“An object’s ability to inform us as to who we are, and where we live, varies on how much contextual information was collected by museum staff of the day,” said the Galt’s collections technician Kevin Maclean. “Recognizing that there is ‘no time like the present’, our small team conducted audits into targeted collection segments to evaluate the relevancy of artifacts to our communities and region. Much of this work required new research into objects that have been in our stewardship for decades.”
Galt collections assistant Elise Pundyk said the process of going through the artifacts is like looking at old family pictures from the past. Each artifact captures a moment in time and speaks powerfully to a sometimes forgotten history. An essential part of this research was to conduct interviews with the original donors, or their family members, who have a connection to these artifacts.
“My job is to search for connections, which has led me to many fascinating stories,” said Pundyk, “For example, this past month I was able to connect with Ike Lanier about his mother’s wedding dress, which has been housed in the museum for over 40 years with little information about the artifact. I learned that Ike’s father, Thomas Stratton Lanier, immigrated to Canada from his birthplace in Kentucky in 1909, shortly after the Land Boom.
“Thomas met his wife, Allene, in Kentucky just prior to his immigration. She stayed in Kentucky and they maintained a long-distance engagement while Thomas was setting up a life on the farm just east of Lethbridge. Eight years later in 1917, Thomas went back to Kentucky and married Allene. The newlyweds came back to Lethbridge that same year and together they began contributing to the community’s growth through their involvement with farming and various social aspects of Lethbridge life.
“There is something truly powerful in sharing moments with people as they remember the stories of generations past,” explained Pundyk.
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