Giving Tuesday & The 2018 Curator’s Most Wanted List

By Laura Suchan, Executive Director

We have two days that are good for the economy. Now we have a day that is good for the community too.” GivingTuesday.ca

Once again the Oshawa Museum is taking part  in the global movement known as GivingTuesday. Taking place the Tuesday after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it is unofficially known as the “opening day of the giving season.” It is a time for charities, companies and individuals to join together and celebrate their favourite causes. (GivingTuesday.ca)

Our staff chose the artefact collection as the focus of the Oshawa Museum’s Giving Tuesday celebration.  A great deal of our work at the Oshawa Museum (OM) centres around the collection which numbers in excess of 50,000 objects.  Collecting the artefacts is only one piece of the puzzle. One of the most important aspects of the collecting process is the curation or, in other words, how the collection is accumulated and selected for acquisition,  presentation and preservation.  Melissa Cole and Jennifer Weymark are the staff members responsible for curating the OM’s collection.  In this process they are guided by their professional knowledge and a collection policy to ensure our collection is diverse and representative of the history of Oshawa and includes the voices, stories and artefacts of all those who have called Oshawa home. In order to strategically develop the collection for future generations, we rely on donations of both money and artefacts. Donations in any amount help us to purchase items we feel will help tell a more inclusive history of our City. We are also asking you to search your attics and basements for artefacts that will help us with our work.

Poster - SM Graphic

To help you, Jennifer and Melissa recently came up with a Curator’s Top 5  Most Wanted artefacts.

  1. Items related to the Henry, Guy and Robinson families including photographs, land deeds, letters, artefacts.
  2. Examples of Smith Potteries pieces or items related to the business. Currently the OM has 25 pieces of Smith Potteries, and we hope to grow this number and learn more about the business that operated in Oshawa from 1925-1949.
  3. Oshawa historic newspapers especially from the period 1880-1930. There are large gaps in the newspaper collection during these years.  Complete newspapers are great, however we also are interested in incomplete copies or single pages.
  4. Anything related to industry and manufacturing, labour history and the 1937 strike.
  5. A more inclusive look at Oshawa’s history means we must do a better job at telling the stories of our diverse community. Current research projects include early Black and Asian history as well as Displaced Persons.

Once again we are asking our members to join us in preserving Oshawa’s  history by helping us to purchase or by donating items that are on the Curator’s Top 5 Most Wanted List.

Recently the staff was sadden to learn of the passing of  one of our long time friends, Tedd Hann.

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Tedd Hann, Jillian Passmore, and Jacquie Frank

Tedd spent many years working for a bread company and then started work with the City of Oshawa.  He retired more than 18 years ago.  Tedd was an accomplished curler and once played on a team that scored an eight ender (a perfect score). Many of our  members will recall Tedd’s Uncle Earl, one of the founding members of the OHS.  Tedd said he donated to the museum in Earl’s memory, after all it was Earl who first got Tedd interested in the work of the museum.   Through donations to the Artefact Fund, Tedd  helped the museum  purchase an exhibit case, publish our WWII book, Stories from the Homefront, repatriate a pair of Ritson Pear Trees and conserve the Granny Cock painting.  Tedd said he got a “great deal of satisfaction” from supporting the museum and was happy to “continue Earl’s work.”

History organizations make their communities more attractive places in which to live, work, learn and play.  A strong arts and culture community is important to the livability and vitality of a community.   Would you be willing to make a donation of $25, $50, $100 or more to help us meet our goal?  Please use this link to make a donation: http://bit.ly/top-5-artefacts. You can also send your donation by mail to Oshawa Historical Society, 1450 Simcoe Street South, Oshawa, Ontario L1H 8S8.

We thank you for your support to strategically manage and develop the collection as a growing resource for education and research.  We also extend an invitation to you to visit the Oshawa Museum and experience first-hand Oshawa’s Home to History.

Giving Tuesday 2017

By Laura Suchan, Executive Director

This year Giving Tuesday, a movement for giving and volunteering taking place each year after Cyber Monday, will be celebrated on November 28.  As the unofficial start to the giving season, Giving Tuesday has become a day where charities, companies and individuals can join together to share commitments, rally for favourite causes and thank donors and supporters.

Givign Tuesday

The Oshawa Museum is highlighting donations to the Artefact Fund for this Giving Tuesday. As an external agency of the city, the Oshawa Historical Society receives an annual grant for the operation of the museum which covers general expenses including electricity, office supplies, insurance, accounting, salaries, promotion, etc.  However expenses related to artefact purchases, conservation work or exhibit development are often not covered in the operating budget.  With this mind the Board of Directors established the Acquisition Account in 1995 to fund those purchases not included as part of the museum’s operating budget.  Most of the funds in the account comes from donations and may be used to finance,

  1. the purchase of artefacts historically relevant to Oshawa
  2. the restoration or conservation of artefacts in the collection
  3. projects relating to improving the accessibility of the collection
  4. the purchase of items and services as deemed appropriate by the Board of Directors to support the above.

Our members and donors have told us repeatedly how much pride they take in the museum and its collection. Archivist, Jennifer Weymark, wrote the following about the impact of your donations to the Acquisitions Fund and what it means to our collection growth,

The majority of the time, we rely on the public to donate items to help our collection grow.  These donations are  important as they bring to us items that had been tucked away and are now available for the public to research.  We appreciate each and every donation.

However there are times when we come across items that will  enhance our collection, that have research value and that belong in the public domain and that are for sale.  It is then that we rely on donations to the Acquisition Fund to purchase these items for our collections. Thanks to the wonderful generosity of our members, we have recently been able to purchase  a wonderful marriage certificate dating back to March 21, 1872.  The marriage is between  George Lankin, a mariner from the Village of Oshawa and Mary Matilda Smith, a spinster from East Whitby Township.  While the names may not be familiar, this marriage license contains a wealth of important research information. Not only is it an important piece for those researching the family names of Lankin and Smith in this area but the license also tells us more about what early Oshawa was like.  It can be used to document local employment opportunities;  it is the first one I have come across the lists the gentleman as a mariner. The license also states that the Right Honorable John Baron Lisgar was the Governor General of Canada in 1872.

With each new acquisition we are able to add to our community history in unique and wonderful ways.  Acquisitions help the Oshawa Museum not only preserve  our history but strategically develop the collection for future generations.

Donations in the amount of $25, $50, $100 or more would help  us meet our goal. Please use this link to make a donation in any amount: canadahelps.org/giv3/37338.  You can also send your donation by mail to Oshawa Historical Society, 1450 Simcoe Street South, Oshawa, Ontario L1H 8S8.

As Giving Tuesday draws near, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued support.

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