This week we will be welcoming a new member of staff, Trish Odorico, to the Museum for a six-month position. Her position is being funded by the federal government’s Young Canada Works (YCW) scheme. The Museum has been applying for the YCW summer students program for many years and as a result of this, our staff numbers (and consequently our productivity) doubles. This year is the first that we applied for YCW’s other program, which allows us to hire a newly graduated student for up to six months.
So, what will Trish be doing? Several years ago local photographer Greg Griffith donated his historical photography collection to the Whistler Museum. Greg first moved to Whistler in 1973 to ski, and then in 1980 he and his wife Pat opened Whistler’s first art gallery, Mountain Moments. The photography collection is rich, professional and … enormous! Despite the bulk of the collection comprising 35mm slides, which are very small, the collection still manages to take up more shelf space in our archive room than any other single collection. We have no idea at this stage just how many photographs there are in total, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it reached into the hundreds of thousands. When smaller collections are donated to our archives we can usually catalogue them ourselves. However, a collection of this scale will take a long time to catalogue, and with only three people working at the museum, spare time is not something we have a lot of!
This is where Trish comes in: newly graduated from a Masters in Photographic Preservation and Collections Management, she is eminently qualified to take on the challenge.
However, Trish is new to Whistler and therefore she is going to need lots of help identifying the subjects of all the photographs for our catalogue. The photographs span from the 1970s to the 1990s, with the majority being in the latter period. If anyone out there who was in Whistler at any point during those years would like to help with identification then please do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org As it is such a huge collection we will need lots of volunteers over the next six months. Don’t be shy! Even if you weren’t here in the seventies we still need lots of help for the 80s and the 90s.
Sarah Drewery is the executive director of the Whistler Museum.