ARST 596 – Vancouver Maritime Museum (2)


Vancouver Maritime Museum

Vancouver, BC

Application deadline
Applications will be assessed on a rolling basis

Supervising Librarian/Archivist
Ashlynn Prasad

Purpose of the project
The Vancouver Maritime Museum (VMM) seeks a summer student to assist the Librarian & Archivist with various small archival processing projects. The archives are home to a robust collection of materials related to the maritime history of the Pacific and Arctic regions. Although we are proud to house over 60 metres of processed archival fonds and collections, we also have a significant backlog of unprocessed accessions largely consisting of textual records and photographs. These unprocessed materials have a negative impact on our ability to accept new materials. By allowing the materials to continue as they are, we also run the risk of losing important contextual information about them.

Summary of activities required to carry out the project
The student, under the supervision and direction of the Librarian & Archivist, will identify fonds/collections of an appropriate size and scope for the student to undertake archival processing work. The Librarian & Archivist will provide contextual information about the fonds/collection, including donor paperwork and correspondence, which the student will review in order to begin constructing a finding aid for the materials. The student will create a fonds/collection-level description; will determine any series present in the collection; will arrange and describe the collection to the file level; and will rehouse the materials in archival-safe folders and envelopes. The student will repeat the same process for as many small collections as they are able to comfortably complete within 120 hours.

Although prior experience with archival processing is preferred, it is not required as long as the student has completed the ARST core. The Librarian &Archivist will be available throughout the professional experience to answer questions, provide advice and suggestions, and help problem-solve.

Expectations of the end result of the project for both host and student
By the end of this project, the student will have gained valuable experience undertaking archival processing on several small collections. Because this project involves several small collections as opposed to one large collection, the student will gain experience working with a wide variety of materials of varying provenances, conditions, and states of preservation. This kind of experience will prepare them for the workforce and equip them with the skills necessary to confidently approach many of the different kinds of materials they may encounter throughout their future career.

By the end of this project, the Librarian & Archivist hopes to have reduced the museum’s archival backlog, with the lasting effects of creating more space in collections storage that will allow us to comfortably be able to accept new acquisitions. Reducing the backlog will also protect the materials from future loss of context.

Time periods in which the project could be supervised

  • Summer Session, Term 1 (May – June)
  • Summer Session, Term 2 (July – August)

Is there a deadline by which the project must be completed?

Considering the project requirements, please suggest suitable coursework as a pre-requisite or co-requisite
Pre-requisite: completion of the ARST core courses.