I am back for my second week here at Banting House and everything has gotten off to a great start! I have begun my time with what some may consider the less than glamorous aspects of working in a museum – that of policy making and review. I spent some time getting acquainted with the social media policy and the guidelines surrounding posts, the sharing of information, proper use etiquette, strategies and themes. While I have heard of things such as social media policies, the length and depth to which these documents go was a bit of a surprise. What was also interesting to note was the rapidity in which policies such as these can become outdated within a short time span. With the advent of new applications becoming available almost everyday and the old applications such as Twitter and Facebook being constantly updated, it can be difficult to stay on top of best use practices and what to do if etiquette is breached or a problem arises in any way. Perhaps updating and refashioning the social media policies at Banting House will be one of my many projects this term!
Another set of documents I had a look through dealt with the process, guidelines and definitions attached to becoming (and remaining) a designated National Historic Site of Canada. Again, I was surprised by the complicated process of it all and the amount of work, committee meetings, attempts and arguments that had to be made. I had assumed that the designation of Banting House would have been a fairly straight forward process since by all accounts, this is an incredibly important part of Canadian history and Sir Frederick Banting was essential in the discovery and creation of insulin. As always, things tend to be more complicated than they appear from the outside.
After having read through those two items, I was able to really start having some fun down in the collections room. Our curator here has told me that there is a special document he wants to use in a upcoming exhibit but the location of this document has proven to be rather elusive. So, today will be devoted to combing through boxes and filing cabinets to see what I can find. A perfect way to spend the day if you ask me!
This post was written by Julia Schwindt, Graduate Research Assistant at Banting House NHSC. Julia graduated with a B.A.H. in History from Carleton University and is currently completing her Masters of Public History at the University of Western Ontario.