Welcome back! (I should also tell myself that, although this is my second visit in a week…yay!)
As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, I’m studying photography and have a huge love for the medium, and for many other art forms. As any reader who frequents my blog will know, I recently had the incredible opportunity to travel to Paris in May for a photography-related course. That course focused on archives and collections, specifically on their preservation, conservation and management strategies.
Having returned to my normal school schedule this past Fall semester, I signed up for a co-operative internship course. This course aims to provide students with the opportunity to gain real-life field experience while still gaining academic credit. Given my interest in collections and archives, I knew this was the field I wanted to intern within, and I had the great fortune of doing so at the Archives and Special Collections department at Ryerson University’s Library and Archives. Here, I got to experience some of the day-to-day tasks that take place in archives and collections. While many of the projects I worked on were quite monotonous, I have a great appreciation for them as it is these types of tasks that ultimately help to preserve, document, and share objects of the past with generations to come.
One of my main tasks was to build housings for books and albums; these protective covers wrap around and protect each object before they are placed on their respective shelves. The other task, which consumed most of my hours, was to go through and catalogue albums from the Lorne Shields Fonds, one of the more sizeable fonds at this department. While many may have found this boring, I thrived on the excitement of never knowing what I would see with each turning page. Thus, when I was asked to write a blog post about something I found interesting during my internship, it was no surprise that I chose to focus on an element of these albums that intersects with another passion I have: travel.
This was by far my favourite task as it allowed me to share some absolute favourites from the albums that I catalogued. As you will see, not only did I get to visit Egypt, Spain, Italy and Malta, I also got to revisit Paris…in the 1870’s! If you’re interested in taking a read, check out my blog Experiencing Travel Through Photography on the RULA website, where you will learn a little bit about the history of travel photography and see some of these amazing late 19th and early- to mid-20th century photographs.
Until next time!