April 9-12, 2008
Montréal, Québec, Canada

Demonstrations: Description

From Seminar to Cyberspace: Collaborative Approaches to Public History and New Media

Mandy Koroniak, Canada
Kristy Martin, Ideeclic, Canada

In 2005, the Canada Science and Technology Museum signed a memorandum of understanding with the Public History Program, at Carleton University in Ottawa. On the basis of this new agreement, a course on History and New Media became a nursery for both ideas and new professional talent in the development of collection-based stories for the web. The arrangement was integrated with a formal application for funding from Canadian Culture Online, a Federal Heritage Department initiative intended "to make available to Canadians the digital cultural content that will help promote our country's rich culture, history, arts and heritage" CSTM’s exceptional Canadian National photo collection served as a foundation for concept development and research for these web exhibitions. Curatorial staff from the museum participated directly in the seminar, representing the collection from which story-lines were then drafted as part of the required course work. On completion of the course, stories were chosen for full development in accordance with CCO requirements, with graduate students from the course being hired to serve as principal researchers and writers.

Dear Ellie: Letters from the West (High School and General Audience)

This was the first story to be developed and launched on the Picturing the Past site, in the fall of 2006. The site follows the fictional journey of a young man in 1937, between Winnipeg and Jasper Park, by rail. This story deals the development of Western tourism, the Great Depression, and emerging farm technologies.

Guest Children (Ages 9-12 and General Audience)

The Guest Children is the fictional tale of two young children who travel to Canada in 1940, to escape the Blitz in England. Based on first hand accounts, research and imagination, the user will discover Canada through the eyes of these young people as they board the train in Halifax and head for Vancouver. Along the way the children meet many different people, see impressive scenery and technology, and learn how Canada is contributing to the war effort. This site is fully animated and is also narrated by a variety of voice actors.

Searching for the Sublime (High School and General Audience)

The third and final web story, Searching for the Sublime, is an exploration of Algonquin Park and the origins of wilderness recreation in Canada. This story is framed by a discussion of Toronto in the age of industrialization, at the end of the nineteenth century, and the subsequent search for relief in outdoor recreation. In particular, four individuals who found greater meaning in the wilderness are highlighted in the site: Naturalist John Macoun, Artist Tom Thomson, Educator Fannie Case and Theologian Henry Burton Sharman.

Demonstration: Demonstrations - 1 [Demonstrations]