Interview with Art and Heritage Collections Cataloguer, Amie Lalonde
Updated: Apr 16, 2019
What is your position?
Art and Heritage Collections Cataloguer
What is your educational and experience background?
I have a Bachelor of Arts in History and Material Culture (2016) and a Master of Arts in History (2017), both from the University of Toronto. I worked in the Trinity College Archives while completing my undergrad and got a Young Canada Works internship at the Whyte Museum Archives and Library after I finished grad school. I then stayed on at the Whyte Museum as Digital Imaging Technician, where I had the opportunity to help with exhibit tear-downs and installations in addition to digitizing archival materials.
What will you be doing?
I will be facilitating access to the Whyte’s collections by manually and digitally processing, arranging and describing art and heritage items. I will also be performing basic preservation tasks to help stabilize art and heritage materials so that they can be best preserved for the future.
Do you have a favourite task so far?
So far I’ve been cataloguing what we call the “small”—they’re tiny miniature pottery pieces that Catharine collected and they’re absolutely adorable. I’ve also been helping with the recent exhibit changeover and have really enjoyed that.
What is the most interesting thing you have learned so far?
The most interesting thing I have learned so far is how the behind the scenes database system (FileMaker Pro) works and how Word and Excel are used to auto-populate labels and condition reports.
Knowing that you are new to this position, what task do you look forward to doing in the future?
I’m looking forward to getting into the historic homes and really getting into some boxes of artifacts that have been in storage for a long time—taking them out, describing them and making sure they are packed away properly to ensure their preservation.
What is your favourite art or object and why?
My favourite art pieces were part of last summer’s Artistry Revealed exhibit. They are Peter Whyte’s Mount Assiniboine in September Snow (WyP.01.060) and one of the unfinished portraits (cool looking dude with fedora) done by either Peter or Catharine while they were the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. My favourite object so far has been this tiny striped mug (see picture above).