A blog post by Anita Voronova, Archival and Curatorial Assistant at the Chilliwack Museum and Archives
With winter now in full swing, I find myself reflecting on my summer internship at the Chilliwack Museum and Archives. Working as an Archival and Curatorial Assistant allowed me to learn and face challenges that I would otherwise never have encountered, and I am forever grateful for that.
When I started working at the Museum and Archives, I had no curatorial experience whatsoever, but my passion for archival work had not dampened. My first project in the archives was to sort through a large box and organize it into neat folders ready for processing. Meanwhile, the curatorial side had many things for me to do – making my own exhibit, helping with deinstallation of the Permanent Gallery, and object processing. Everything was so overwhelming at first, but with the help of my wonderful supervisors, Tristan and Anna, I was able to overcome those challenges.
My greatest trial in all of this has been putting together my exhibit, no question. But in the end, it was all worth it when I saw the final product sitting in its display case for everyone to see. Experiences like these, while stressful, ultimately improved my self-confidence and my skills, some of which I didn’t know I had! The exhibit is called Pick Up the Phone! History on Line One! and is an exploration of the history of telephonic communication in Chilliwack. It will be on display at the Chilliwack Archives until Summer 2021!
I have many cherished moments from my time there, but if I had to narrow it down, it would these. For curatorial, it was the satisfaction and care that went into making my own exhibit at the Archives. I had never made an exhibit before, so it was a very eye-opening experience for me. For archival, that would be the complete satisfaction when I completed a record and was praised for my good work. And finally, the connections and happy memories that I built along the way. My co-workers and I made great memories together and I will think of them fondly when I go further in my career.