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Alice started volunteering at the YTM in 2016 taking on the immense job of cataloguing/accessioning a very large collection of primarily WP&YR photographs and items she had donated to the museum earlier in the year.  Her accessioning work includes using a scanner; several computer programs she was previously unfamiliar with, recording in depth information on both the collection as a whole and on each individual item.  Her donation and her work with it has been a huge benefit to the YTM collection, but it doesn’t end there.

Previously the museum’s collections work area competed with a myriad of other ongoing tasks being done in the same space.  Our ED Janna worked with Alice to create a dedicated collections and research work area. As snowballs rolling downhill grow in size, so do Alice’s tasks.  She took on the project management for installing a window in the new space and she somewhat willingly became a guinea pig for our new collections system which compartmentalises the accessioning process.  The process allows community members to contribute to one or more parts of collections care.  As we did this she told us wonderful stories about her husband and each story was exhibit worthy.  She took on creating this exhibit which is available online on our website at https://goytm.ca/paul-cyr-loved-cats/.  This exhibit is a demonstration of community created exhibits, and it is now created as a physical exhibit.  

Alice’s time spent at YTM so far is amazing and what has come out of her contribution is even greater.  She has now personally contributed to every aspect of working with the collection she donated, including exhibition.  She has been our muse to create this inclusive system, therefore enhancing the community’s ability to interact with their history in a profound way.