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Museum of Dufferin wraps up Archivist on the Road for 2018

December 21, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Jasen Obermeyer

The Museum of Dufferin’s (MoD) monthly program, Archivist on the Road, which has wrapped up for the year, is a new and fun way for those looking to gain more insight into family and community history.

A new service launched last January, the program allowed the MoD for the first time to meet off-site with its visitors and researchers, essentially bringing the archives to them, visiting the libraries in Dufferin County once a month. 

“It was conceived as a way to keep in touch with researchers and visitors during the MoD closure due to major gallery renovations,” says archivist Laura Camilleri, deeming the program successful. “We had to close to the public due to a major gallery renovation which meant that the archives could not have visitors.”

Originally planning on going on the road for five months, she ended up doing the project for the whole year. The program will continue next year. 

“At the programs we helped people who would normally visit the archives, and library patrons with any kind of research. It was primarily genealogy or property research we assisted with, but we also helped with researching unidentified people in family photographs, an author with the research for a book she was writing, local high school students with their history projects, residents at the Avalon with some of their memory projects and many new residents who just wanted to know more about the town.”

“This program also allowed us to reach an audience that did not normally have the means to get to the Archives themselves,” explained Vanessa Lio, archives assistant. “This in turn allowed us to become more accessible and reach an audience that we may have never met with prior.”

“We had an average of five drop-in visits a day which each lasted about 45 minutes to an hour each,” said Ms. Camilleri. “We also delivered about 10 programs for the libraries on various topics ranging from how to research your family history to Christmas traditions.”

She notes her love for talking to many different people on a range of historical topics. “It didn’t have to be about Dufferin County. We were helping people with their research throughout the world. As an archivist we have access to so many resources and we can help people access that information.”

“Bringing our office to the libraries was also exciting for me because it was a change up in our daily routine and puts you in a more social atmosphere,” adds Ms. Lio.

The first session next year begins Thursday, Jan. 10 at the Orangeville Mill Street Public Library.



         

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