Museum to digitize historical materials 0
SEAN CHASE The Champlain Trail Museum purchased this photographic studio equipment with a grant from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. Here to unveil the studio was Ray Brazeau, director with Friends of the Champlain Trail Museum, David Wybou, from the Renfrew County Community Futures Development Corporation, Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke MP Cheryl Gallant, Sylvia Whitmore, director with Friends of the Champlain Trail Museum, Bob Clauson, treasurer of the Renfrew County Museums Network, and David Whitmore, president of the Friends of the Champlain Trail Museum.
A federal grant awarded to the Champlain Trail Museum will make it easier for researchers to access artifacts that would otherwise remain tucked away for safe keeping.
The museum has acquired equipment that will make it possible to put their impressive catalogue of historical materials in a computer databank.
Thanks to a $1,530 grant from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, the Friends of the Champlain Trail Museum and Pioneer Village purchased the lights and photographic equipment needed to establish a small studio, including paper and a camera. They also upgraded their computer software to include a recent version of their museum artifact database, Past Perfect.
“We have large books and large artifacts, things that cannot be scanned,” explained Sylvia Whitmore, a director with the not-for-profit group. “To make this material available through photography is so much easier than showing someone the artifact but they can’t do anything with it.”
This new photographic studio and software will help make the documentation of the museum’s artifacts and some archival items more efficient and accurate as the photographs can become part of the database. Ms. Whitmore added this will help speed up research when they are putting new exhibits together and require this information for signage.
Top quality photographs of some archival records are needed to make photocopies for general use so that the originals can be kept in good condition. She noted this will be important for members of the public who are conducting various types of historical and genealogical research.
The grant was made possible through the FedDev Ontario’s Eastern Ontario Development Program which is administered by the Renfrew County Community Futures Development Corporation. Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke MP Cheryl Gallant explained that the initiative was developed through the lobbying efforts of eastern Ontario MPs who found that communities outside the Highway 401 corridor needed extra attention in terms of finances because they face more challenges economically.
“In this capacity we are trying to create more jobs and this particular program helps and builds on the tourism aspect,” said MP Gallant.
David Wybou, economic development officer with the Renfrew County Community Futures Development Corporation, lauded the federal government for extending the current one-year Eastern Ontario Development Program to three years.
“It creates an awful lot of opportunities in rural Ontario and rural Eastern Ontario,” he said.
The Champlain Trail Museum and Pioneer Village also wished to thank the museum’s director and curator, Angela Siebarth, for completing the grant application, Ray Brazeau and Peter Rumohr for their financial help and David and Sylvia Whitmore for picking up and delivering the equipment.
Sean Chase is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist