Local events

The next POAS presentation is on Tuesday, April 25 at 7 PM

Location: Rm. B104 of the DNA building, Trent University

Guest Speakers: Dr. Catherine Mathias and Mr. David Wesley

"Museums and the Artifact"


Folks are generally aware of the role of the artifact in archaeological investigation. In Ontario, there are legal as well as ethical implications to their recovery. However, it might be surprising to learn that some heritage professionals have differing views on the subject of what happens next. On April, 25th, the Peterborough OAS will present a discussion on the topic of Museums and the Artifact. Our guests will be Mr. Dave Wesley, currently the general manager of Lindsay’s Olde Gaol Museum, and conservator Dr. Catherine Mathias.

Their exchange promises to provide the public with a ‘behind the scenes’ view of museum craft that might just carry over to their next visit to a heritage institution. It will also be of interest to those currently engaged in museum sciences, either as a student or a professional. Ample time will be provided for questions from the audience

From Mr. Wesley:
I will attempt to champion the Decomposition Theory of heritage engagement and commemoration - rather than digging artifacts out of the ground or removing them from their place of rest, dusting them off, cataloguing them, handling them with gloves, putting them in hermetically sealed boxes and storing them in the dark on shelves for decades - we instead allow them to honour the natural processes of decomposition in situ, while allowing other artifacts to be handled and touched even if it aides disintegration.

On the other hand, Dr. Mathias speaks to the value of the conservator and questions, perhaps, if there are other issues that might influence

Having worked in the Cultural Heritage sector for some 35 years, as an archaeological and objects conservator and other related tasks I will present some of the reasons why objects do require gloves and dark storage areas. Together we will open this arena up for discussion showing the pros and cons to removing what has become the traditional role of conservation within the museum.  The presentation will include highlights from the 16th century Red Bay Basque Whaling site, the 17th century Colony at Ferryland, Newfoundland and objects from the National Museum of Columbia.

This meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 25th in Rm. B104 of the DNA building, Trent University and is one of a series of talks with an archaeological appeal arranged by the Peterborough OAS.  All are welcome to attend and admission is free. The Speakers Series is conducted with the assistance of the City of Peterborough and the Trent University Archaeological Research Centre. For more information contact Tom Mohr, chapter president, at mohr@utsc.utoronto.ca or Dirk Verhulst, chapter secretary, at dverhulst@cogeco.ca or 705-742-7392.


Month: April 2017