2011 News Archives

SoHo Designation Project

LACH presentations 2011

Students recently presented their research and recommendations for designation of twelve properties in London's south of Horton district to the London Advisory Committee on Heritage and delegates from the London Branch of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario. Their research is part of the SoHo Community Regeneration Plan.

Convocation 2011

Graduation 2011

Congratulations to our recent grads! Front row, l-r: Craig Capacchione; Sarah Bennett; Terran Fader; Caitlin Dyer; Luvneet Rana; Jennifer Nelson. Back row, l-r: Joanna Dawson; Annique Sanche; Michelle Goodridge; Kira Westby; Pamela Pal. Missing: Adair Harper; Brent Wiancko; Jennifer Levin-Bonder.

The Value of Internships

In "All Work, No Pay," the Gazette explores the value of internships. Jenn Nelson, who interned this past summer at the National Museum of Scotland and the National Library of Scotland weighed in on the topic. Read more

Celebrating Medical History at Western


Three new displays showcasing the practice and teaching of medicine at Western are now mounted in the Medical Sciences Building in conjunction with Western Homecoming 2011.  This year, the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry is celebrating the 130 anniversary of the medical school.  As part of this, Public History graduate students Adrianna Ayers, Alison Deplonty, Sarah Nagy, Heather Rivet and Lyndsay VanDyk as well as Professors Michelle Hamilton and Shelley McKellar seized the opportunity to showcase objects from the Medical Artifact Collection – including surgical sets, microscopes, toothkeys and a recently donated foot-pedal dental drill. These displays, entitled "Scalpels and Stethoscopes," "Teaching Anatomy and Microscopy at Western," and "Toothkeys and Forceps," are located in the lobby and outside room M146 of the Medical Sciences building – so please wander over for a look!

Prof. Bill Turkel in the New York Times

Bill Turkel's data mining project using the records of the Old Bailey, the central criminal court in London, England, garnered attention by the New York Times. Read more about this project, called "With Criminal Intent" here.

Metras Project to be Featured at the OMA Conference

Jordan Goldstein (2010), now the Museum Manager of the JP Metras Museum will present on the two-year connection between the Public History program and this campus institution at the upcoming annual conference of the Ontario Museums Association. His talk will be part of panel session called "On Campus Communities: Museums Working with Universities." Check out the session description here.

Recent Conference Presentation

Arnott presMegan Arnott recently presented at 2011 International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University. Read her presentation and see her powerpoint “'Viking' North America: The North American Public’s Understanding of Its Norse Heritage" here.

"Memories of the Cave," Banff Crag and Canyon
By Larissa Barlow


If you remember long summer days working as a lifeguard at the Cave and Basin pool, taking your first swimming lessons at the site, or even learning how to paddle a canoe in the safe confines of the calm water, then Parks Canada wants to hear from you. Parks has hired a summer research student to collect memories and stories people have of the days when you could swim at the national historic site to both record the history of the place, and hopefully rekindle some community spirit for the Cave and Basin. Graduate student Adair Harper wants to gather as many personal histories as possible this summer, as some of the stories will become part of the permanent exhibit at the Cave and Basin once it re-opens next year. "It could be as casual as jotting down on a poster their favourite memories or sitting down for a longer, more formal interview," Harper said. As part of the large-scale renovations at the Cave and Basin, which aim to reconnect Banffites both physically and emotionally to the site, this project is about rekindling some of the old feelings for the building that was once a hub of community activity.

National historic sites manager Steve Malins said there is a wealth of amazing stories out there about time spent at the Cave's pool, from games played during the winter carnival, to the time the 1968 Summer Olympics Canadian swim team came to train there. "It's about really regaining that local sense of connect and regaining that enjoyment of the Cave and Basin," Malins said. "There are still a few former lifeguards out there and a number of staff members who continue to meet people who learned to swim at the Cave and Basin." Harper has already made connections with several local organizations to reach out and gather stories, but she'll also have a booth set up at the Whyte Museum's Back to Banff Day June 19 where she hopes to meet with locals who have memories of the Cave. Malins said any information not used for the new exhibit will be useful, as it's kept on file for any research projects Parks Canada might conduct in the future. In 1985 a project was done to build a photo inventory of images of the Cave and Basin, which show everything from waterslides heading into the pool, to synchronized swimming events. "You just never know what a project like Adair's will trigger in someone's memory," Malins said. "It's that personal connection to place we really want to get with this." Anyone who wants to contribute to the project can stop by the booth at Back to Banff Day or contact Harper at adair.harper@pc.gc.ca.

Interested in Our Students Internship Projects?

Follow Kira Westby this summer as she interns at the Peterborough Museum and Archives. Kira will be blogging about her experiences here. Jennifer Nelson, who is working at the National Library and the National Museum of Scotland, will share her experiences here. Joanna Dawson has begun to blog for Canada's National History Society in Winnipeg at Young Historians.

"Mustang History Gets Boost from History Program," Western News, by Jason Winders

Ask Michelle Hamilton and she’ll tell you sports history at The University of Western Ontario has been more a labour of love, than academic pursuit. But for the last two years, students in her public history program have set out to change that. For more than a century, much of Mustang sporting history has been tucked away in boxes, closets and rarely entered storerooms across campus and the country. Some parts found a way into the hands of Western archivists and volunteers; other parts were simply tossed out. All that’s not to mention the vast wealth of knowledge, the bulk of the institution’s sporting history, is committed not to paper, but only to the memories of those who played and coached the games. “People tend to underestimate the historic value of their own stories and memorabilia,” says Hamilton, director of the program in the Department of History. To preserve Mustang history, the J.P. Metras Sports Museum opened in Alumni Hall. Beginning in 1978, the university’s centennial year, the ‘W’ Club used this room to establish Western’s Sports Hall of Fame. Display cases and photos were mounted to help define the space, and coaches became curators, collecting pictures and changing displays. Today, roughly 148 Hall of Fame photos line the hallways leading to the museum, where more than 100 pictures are on display between the national championships wall and the Molson Wall of Fame that recognizes Western's Olympic and Common-wealth Games athletes. But limits to time and space have always kept the museum from being what the organizers hoped it would be. Enter Hamilton’s public history classes. Read the full article here.

New Book from Sunnybrook Hospital Archives

Sunnybrook Hospital Our Veteran’s Legacy of Care, a Photographic Journey Through the Decades has been published by Dundurn Press. Edited by a team led by Dr. Peeter Poldre, the book captures the history of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre from its origins as a military hospital built for the care of Canadian veterans to the present as Canada's largest public, teaching hospital. It chronicles the contributions of the dedicated health care professionals, staff, volunteers and veterans whose tireless efforts have made the hospital what it has become today. Together they have established internationally recognized standards of excellence in patient care, teaching and research. This legacy honours in perpetuity those service men and women, past and present, who put heir lives on the line to protect our freedom. Phil Gold (2005) is Sunnybrook's Archivist and in the summer of 2010, Catherine Caughell (2010) conducted her internship at the institution. For a peek into the book, watch this YouTube video.

36th Annual Symposium on the Holocaust

In her new role as Education Coordinator for the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre, Catherine Caughell recently organized this event for over 1000 high school students. “Student feedback on the symposium overwhelmingly mentioned that the breakout sessions with survivor speakers was the most meaningful, inspiring part of the day’s program,” said Caughell. As I observed students listening to the survivors speak, it was clear from their body language and the hush in the room that they were actively engaged and hanging on every word. Many of them were visibly moved by their seminar experiences. Many more made a point to stay after the survivor was finished speaking and express admiration for the survivor’s courage and their gratitude for the opportunity to listen to them speak. I’m always amazed at the almost instantaneous bond that can form between a survivor and the group of students that they are sharing their story with. It’s difficult to describe, but incredibly touching to watch. Highlighting the value of the annual event, Caughell continued, The symposium program offers students in British Columbia unparalleled access to historians, experts and eyewitnesses to the Holocaust. I believe this program to be more valuable than ever, as students who attended this year’s symposium are part of the last generation of students that will have this opportunity hear from Holocaust survivors firsthand. It is an incredible privilege, but it’s also an incredible responsibility. It will be up to them to pass on these stories to future generations.” Read more from the article "Critical Message of Survival" from the Jewish Independent.

SPARK Conference Workshop

Joanna Dawson, Kira Westby and Jennifer Nelson led "'Stuff' Matters:  A Hands-on Historical Workshop" using the Medical Artifact Collection at the SPARK conference May 5th. Run by the Thames Valley District Board of Education for gifted high school students, this conference was hosted by King's College.

New Lambton County Blog

Dana Johnson, the former Lambton County Fellow at the Oil Museum of Canada, has established a new blog in her new position as Historian at the Lambton County Room. "Musings from the Archives" provides a peek into the holdings and research of this local archives.

J.P. Metras Sports Museum Virtual Exhibit Launched!

The 2010-11 Public History students have now launched their virtual exhibit which brings together the artifact and photographic collections of the Museum and the Western Archives to tell the story of over 100 years of sports at the university. The Museum itself was created by the W Club in 1978 and is located in Alumni Hall. A big thank you to our partners the W Club, the Women's Athletic Alumnae and the Archives and Research Collections Centre in the Weldon Library.

Students Present at Annual CMA Conference

This year, the annual conference of the Canadian Museums Association was held in London. Four Public History students presented papers. Jennifer Levin-Bonder was part of a panel entitled "Rethinking Museums: Beyond Gallery Walls" and Jennifer Nelson presented in the session "How Do you Dramatize History?" Brent Wiancko and Terran Fader discussed the creation of a virtual exhibit for the JP Metras Museum using Omeka, the Public  History students' group project.  Students Annique Sanche and Joanna Dawson also interviewed several presenters for Canada's National History Society. Watch their video interviews here.

The Program wishes to thank the London Heritage Council, the London Arts Council, and the CMA for the waived registration fees so that all Public History students could attend the annual conference.

Archives Conservation Workshop

In celebration of Archives Awareness Week, the Elgin County Archives hosted a paper conservation workshop in mid-April. Students Brent Wiancko, Jennifer Nelson and Terran Fader, all of whom will intern at archival institutions this summer, attended.

Jennifer Nelson Wins Internship Support

Nelson, who will complete a joint internship at the National Museum and National Library of Scotland this summer has won support for her work. Both the United Empire Scholarship and the Agnes Cole Dark grant will support her research which includes Scottish immigration to Canada and the participation of Scottish regiments in the First World War. Nelson is the first Public History student to win an international internship.

New Exhibit at the Museum of Ontario Archaeology

Michelle Goodridge and Dr. Robert Pearce have curated a new exhibit entitled "Big Jobs, Big Tools: Pre-contact First Nations Use of Ground Stone Tools." This exhibit was part of Michelle's Research Assistantship placement at the Museum during the academic year.