Museum launches ‘artifact lending library’

  • Sep. 24, 2014 3:19 p.m.

In an effort to share more of what they have with the community at large, the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery has launched MAG Centre, an artifact lending library.

The library features a selection of more than 500 museum study collection items, staff say. Teachers, schools and local community groups will have access to objects and specialized kits related to a range of themes, whether in the classroom or by visiting the Museum.

“The extraordinary thing about a museum is that you can learn directly from objects,” said Lorna Johnson, the Museum’s executive director. “So what we’ve been working on is having a group of objects that are accessible to teachers and community groups to borrow, take into classrooms and use for object-based learning.

“It’s a new initiative that we are piloting, and we will revise it based on the feedback that we get. We really want people to see how much they can learn from these objects, and how exciting it is for young people especially to see the real thing.”

Abbey Cruikshank, a history educator at the Museum, said she went through school curriculum to check out all of the topics and themes that are covered and then went from there. “I looked through our collections, and matched from them what would fit with the curriculum, so things would be directly related to what was going on with the curriculum.”

MAG Central also fits in with Alberta Education’s push to see more project-based learning in classrooms. “That concept fits really well with this because these are objects that can sit in a classroom for a week at a time, and teachers can use them as they see fit.

“Or it can be presented in a single 45-minute presentation – whatever works best with a teacher’s schedule.”

The objects have all been labeled as well. There’s everything from all kinds of household items to even some Central American artifacts.

Cruikshank said that global/cultural understanding is also a major focus of Alberta Education these days too. “So having these artifacts in front of students gives them that chance to look at them, interact with them and experience them in a really positive way. And it encourages them to learn more and go further.

“It’s a lot more exciting to learn about history when you have an object to hold onto.”

The potential reach of the program is huge – there are more than 15,000 students within the boundaries of Red Deer not to mention thousands in the surrounding areas as well. “It’s just another way for us to be able to invite the public to interact with the collection,” said Karin Richardson-MacKenzie, the Museum’s coordinator of marketing and development.

Cruikshank agreed. “While we have selected a number of things, there are a number of things that I haven’t even dug through back there that could still be put in. And as more material comes into the Museum, there will be an ever-growing library of things.”

Meanwhile, there are number of day camps set to run at the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery for local students including ‘Myths and Legends’, ‘Pirates’, ‘Inventor’s Workshop’ and ‘A Pioneer Christmas’. Check out or call 403-309-8405 for various dates and times.

Just Posted

Red Deer’s newest outdoor ice facility opens to the public this week

The speed skating oval at Setters Place at Great Chief Park will be open Dec. 17th

Yellow Vests protestors take to Red Deer streets

Trudeau government’s immigration and oil industry policies denounced at rally

Rebels lose to Medicine Hat Tigers, 4-1

Tigers break Rebels’ three-game winning streak

Exhibition explores the rich history and culture of Métis people

The exhibition is on display from Dec. 15th to March 10th at the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery

2019 Hockey Alberta Provincial Championship host sites announced

A total of 39 Provincial Championships will be hosted across the province

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

World Sikh Organization demands Canada prove Sikh extremism is a threat

Sikh community says this is first time such extremism has been mentioned in federal terror-threat assessment

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Most Read