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Museum Governance Matters

governance

While you may be aware that MOA has a Board of Directors, have you ever considered what the Board does?  Or why museum governance matters?

By definition (Canadian Museums Association) museums are not-for-profit institutions created in the public interest.   While museums have operational functions that differ from other not-for-profit organizations,  they still operate within the same legal, ethical and business frameworks. Read more

Look Back: The Pipe Site Pipe

Long before the creation of this blog, and before the digital Palisade E-Post, the museum sent out paper newsletters.  First published in February 1979, each Palisade Post issue is a snapshot of what was happening in Ontario archaeology during this time, and is the basis of our Look Back series.

The Pipe Site Pipe

(Spring 1993, Volume 15 No. 1)

“Of all the pits, in all the fields, you had to pop out of mine.”

No, it’s not a bad line from a great movie, it’s just my way of introducing this article, which deals with the experience of finding that one artifact, in one test pit, on one survey.

This happened in November, 1992, when the Contract Archaeology crew conducted an archaeological assessment of approximately 64.5 hectares (160 acres) of land in Flos Township, Simcoe County.  Only 30 percent of this property could be visually surveyed.  The rest of the property that had both natural and reforested woodlot had to be surveyed using a technique known as ‘test pitting’.  Using this method we were able to recover three isolated find spots and one undisturbed village.  After a brief description of the survey technique, I will discuss the find spot which produced the pipe pictured here. Read more

Changing Landscapes: London Parks

The archaeology of Springbank Park and Victoria Park reveals a history that stretches over 12,000 years in London and includes indigenous, pioneer, and early military functions. With new development and reuse of our landscape, London’s history can be studied through excavated archaeological sites, archived stories, maps, and photographs.  As part of the Changing Landscapes exhibit at MOA, Springbank and Victoria Parks illustrate how our use of the land has changed over time.

Springbank Park, Byron, Ontario

London Parks - Springbank Park including Northern Hotel 1880
The Pumphouse complex, including the Northern Hotel, in 1880 (before the flood in 1883).

Located in Byron, Ontario, Springbank Park is a multi-use park consisting of gardens, nature trails, bicycle paths, and grassed and natural areas along the Thames River. Springbank Park is part of the Springbank Cultural Heritage Landscape, and is highly valued by Londoners since its history and memories contribute to the community’s sense of identity and rich cultural fabric. Through historical research and archaeological findings, we can piece together the history of Springbank Park and its changing landscape. Read more

Why Mission Matters

Why_Question

Do you know why you do what you do? Mission does matter.

I am always amazed, when I sit back and think about it, how much goes on behind the scenes at the Museum of Ontario Archaeology.   I like to compare museums to icebergs: what you see when you visit is just a small part of everything that is going on.  From working with the collection, researching exhibits, planning programs and events, to the things we rarely consider as “museum work” but are critical to any business (like marketing, managing the finances, fundraising, and health and safety just to name a few), museums are busy places.  It’s because museums are so busy that our mission matters.

For all of this activity to have meaning, everything we do must flow from a deep sense of purpose  – our mission.  It’s through our mission that we articulate our reason for existing, how we strive to serve our communities, meet our public trust responsibilities, and hopefully make a difference in the lives of the people we serve. Read more

March Break Adventure 2016

March Break Adventure Location South America

Is your Young Explorer looking for a March Break Adventure?

A March Break Adventure is closer than you think at MOA’s Adventure through South America camp, offered from March 14-18, 2016.  Campers will explore the peoples, environment, and animals of South America as they stamp their ‘passport’ with days of exploration!

March Break starts on Monday with a Welcome to South America party, where we will explore the countries and geography of the region while playing some great games.  On Tuesday, we’ll be checking out South America’s Food and Culture!  Not only will our Explorers learn about South American foods, they will also become farmers and plant their own bean crop.  We’ll be watching our beans grow throughout the week before our Explorers take their plants home. Read more

Family Day 2016

Family Day 2016 new

Since the first Family Day was observed on February 18, 2008, many Ontarians have enjoyed taking advantage of the holiday to spend time with their family and explore their communities.  Family Day 2016 falls on February 15th and you don’t have to look any further than MOA for something fun to do as we continue our tradition of hosting a Family Fun Day filled with wonderful indoor family activities.

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Families will be able to listen to and share stories with Mi’kmaq storyteller Nina Antoine-Ogilvie as well as explore and shop at First Nations Craft Vendors throughout the day!  Children can discover the secrets to archaeological digs by uncovering and mapping chocolate chips in our Cookie excavation and explore the importance of First Nations Wampum as a means of communication through our wampum activity. Read more

What’s in a Collection?

Help preserve our collection with the Adopt an Artifact program

The recent discovery of Beatrix Potter’s Kitty in Boots in the Victoria & Albert Museum’s Beatrix Potter archive highlights the tremendous challenge museums can face in managing their collection and the information about them. With often thousands of objects and documents held in trust within museum collections the task of knowing not only what’s in the boxes but where in the museum things are located often falls to a select few people.

Museums hold their collections in trust for the public, and that responsibility includes not only caring for the collection but making the information and knowledge about it accessible.  Having worked with and for museums for over 15 years, I’ve seen examples of extraordinary collections management processes as well as “We don’t know what we’ll do if (fill in name) retires.  They’re the only person who knows where everything is.” Read more

Look Back: The Formative Years

The History of the Museum of Ontario Archaeology

Long before the creation of this blog, and before the digital Palisade E-Post, the museum sent out paper newsletters.  The museum’s first newsletter was published in February 1979.  That newsletter chronicled the early history of the Museum of Ontario Archaeology.

As 2016 begins let’s look back on the formative years of the Museum of Ontario Archaeology.

The wording of the newsletter has been changed slightly.  Changes are enclosed in [ ].

February, 1979, Vol. No. 1 Read more

Welcome to 2016

HappyNewYear

On behalf of the Board and Staff at MOA, I hope everyone enjoyed the best of the holiday season. We’re looking forward to an exciting year at the Museum and I wanted to take this opportunity to share what’s happening over the coming months.

The Board of Directors is looking forward to re-affirming our partnership with Western University. Since the days of Wilfrid and Amos Jury, MOA has had close ties with Western and the MOA Board is committed to maintaining a positive and productive partnership with the university. As we transition from our previous agreement (which has recently expired) to a new agreement, we are excited about the positive role the museum can play, not only at Western, but throughout Ontario. Read more

Changing Landscapes: Archaeology in London

Introduction and Summerside Site

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Welcome to our four-part blog series titled Changing Landscapes that takes us on the journey into London’s archaeological past! Although there are hundreds of archaeological sites located throughout London and its surrounding area, we are going to focus on four sites in this series. These sites are featured in our feature exhibition Changing Landscapes: Unearthing London’s Past until April 2016 and highlights archaeology in London.

Before we dive into specific sites, let’s consider why these sites are excavated. The archaeological process in Ontario is not as simple as picking up a trowel and digging a square! The process is guided by rules and regulations set by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Sport under the Ontario Heritage Act. Since 1974, this act has defined the process that evaluates, investigates, and manages the cultural heritage resources of our province. Read more