newsletter - Oxford County Museum School
OXFORD COUNTY MUSEUM SCHOOL
Volume 23, Issue 2
News from the
The View from the
I wish to welcome Chris Leitch to our Board. She is
enthusiastic about our museum and has contributed
greatly in the last three months.
With Thanksgiving past, and Remembrance Day commemoration
finished, we are looking toward the end of the year, with Christmas
celebrations gearing up. It is a time to be thankful.
The Museum School is thankful for many reasons. We have a vigorous group of volunteers that have presented crafts at the many events
this year. We have a board that continues to grow and guide the Museum through its many obstacles and challenges. Last but not least,
we have been the fortunate recipient of TWO grants this fall!
More members are welcome! We are looking for
greater diversity on the Board, so we are especially
interested in more men, and business people. Remember, you don’t have to be a teacher to be on the
Board – just someone interested in local history, the
preservation of the history of education, or interested
in finances, marketing, computers, opportunities for
children, or creative work.
We have a good group of dedicated volunteers, and
this is a great time to thank them for their work.
Our main concern is to keep the museum operating.
It would be wonderful if we could be operational 5
days a week instead of 2, and working on all cylinders. That requires money – not just for projects, but
for salary. Most organizations that provide grant
money require it to be used for a specific project, not
for the everyday running of the museum. It’s a conundrum!
Our donor list shrinks each year, so we are approaching municipal councils, service clubs, and industry
and businesses. We want the museum survive, so if
you have any ideas to help us, please pass them
By Ken Riehl
This does mean a lot of work to ensure we utilize the funds provided
for the projects we planned, and to do so ethically. You will be seeing logos that acknowledge these funds on our website, advertising
for our projects, and on the finished exhibits.
These grant funded projects do not mean that we are flush with
money, rather that we are able to purchase supplies, order professionally prepared exhibit text panels, acquire devices for the visually
impaired, and offer half day workshops to volunteers across the
county who are interested in learning how to prepare exhibits for
museums, libraries, or service groups.
We still depend
on our donors
for the day to
day expenses of
grants do not
cover. And for
that, we are also
By Jennifer Beauchamp,
What the Heck is it?
See page 4 for a
A Picture’s worth a thousand words!
We’ve had a busy summer welcoming people into the schoolhouse for crafts and tours.
Harvest Fest saw beautiful weather and lots
of visitors. Making a Monarch Butterfly was
on the agenda.
Pumpkin Fest was cooler so we kept the big
doors shut, welcoming people into the warm
schoolhouse for crafts. So many came in to
make a Little Brown Bat that we had no time
Next up is the Festival of Lights. Don’t miss your chance to see Santa!
The Oxford County Museum School is pleased to announce that we have been the recipients of
the Retired Teachers of Ontario Grant and the Seniors Community Grant.
These grants will be used to assist the Museum School in delivering opportunities for seniors
and other volunteers to attend half day workshops on various aspects of preparing museum exhibits. As well, there are funds for website improvement, acquisition of educational and office
supplies, and accessibility material for the visually impaired.
We are now looking for people who would like to attend these workshops to learn about exhibit preparation. If you or
someone you know is involved with a museum, library, service group or other organization and would like to learn more
about preparing an exhibit or display, please contact us at the Museum School.
The half day workshops will be taught by museum professionals in a casual setting and the cost will be a registration fee of
$5. There will be hand outs and snacks will be provided. Best of all, no homework! Attendees can use their new skills to
prepare displays or exhibits for their home institution.
The workshops will cover the following: researching for an exhibit, artifact handling, preparing wall text, developing an
educational program, exhibit design, and accommodating accessibility issues. You can attend one or all of the workshops,
with the one-time registration fee.
Kiwanis Trivia Night
The Museum School Kiwanis Trivia Team placed 4th in February. We are looking for
players for next year’s evening of fact-filled fun. Are you looking for an entertaining
challenge with new friends? Contact the Museum if you are. The next Trivia Night is Feb.
28th. Plan to join the fun on OUR team!
News from the Donor Card Chair & Treasurer
As the year comes to an end, it is time to start preparing the budget for next year. We are meeting our financial commit-
ments thanks to your generous donations and two new grants. However, next year brings continued uncertainty.
Grants are never a sure thing, and despite our efforts, we don’t always receive approval for our projects.
We continue to depend on your donations for the everyday financial responsibilities we face. New donor cards
are ready for 2015 and we hope that you will remember us when you are thinking of your charitable donations.
As a board we continue to brainstorm to move our fundraising efforts into a
new spectrum. Your participation and continued support is welcome and
By Elaine Bowen, Treasurer
~ Volunteer Workshops ~
Research Your Project—Where do you begin? What are primary sources and how do you find them?
We’ll show you how to make your way through the mysteries of researching and directing your work to
meet your planned project.
Artifact Handling — Sooner or later, you’ll have to touch an artifact, and you need to do it the right way.
Gloves, no gloves, what type of gloves – we’ll sort through it and show you how to feel more comfortable
handling 100 year old artifacts.
Wall Text: preparing a script that visitors want to read—How often have you averted your eyes from a
text panel at a museum because it’s just too wordy? There’s a way to prepare information that you want
others to read so that they will. And are able to.
Developing an Educational Program—It’s a great exhibit, but if schoolchildren can’t relate to it, what’s
the point? We’ll look at curriculum and linking the program to it, devising hands-on activities, timemanagement skills, and how to promote the program.
Exhibit Design: Delight or Dilemma? - What makes an exhibit look like an exhibit and not a pile of old
stuff? There’s an order to it all, and the various steps will be discussed, then put into practice in class with
artifacts, themes, design, and props to bring it to life.
Accessibility in the Museum—It’s more than just steps and doors. It’s lighting, it’s moving through the
exhibit space, it’s understanding spoken words, it’s being able to sit still and follow a program – and so
much more. We’ll look at some of the ways we can make our museum more accessible.
Funded in part by RTO-STO
VOLUME 23, ISSUE 2
Oxford County Museum School
Preserving Ontario’s Educational Heritage
The Museum School continues to collect pop cans as
one of their fund-raising initiatives. If you have some to
donate, please call or email the Museum and we will
arrange to receive them.
:: Thank You! ::
Thanks to those who helped us with Harvest Fest and Pumpkin Fest —without you we would not have
been able to be open for the many visitors that came to enjoy the museum site and all its activities.—
Dawn Dennison, Catherine Elliott, Linda Hammond, Pat Harrison, Chris Leitch, Marilyn McRoberts,
Dianne Mann, Barb Patterson, Joanne Perry, Brenda Sim, Joyce Stevens, and Board members Barb Currie,
Noreen Holbrough, Ken Reihl, and Brenda Seaton.
Thanks to Mill Creek Printing for assisting in preparing our signage for the Endangered Species Program.
Thanks to Sifton Homes for their donation to the Endangered Species Program.
WHAT THE HECK IS IT?
It’s a Rotary Neostyle Duplicator. I’m sure many of the retired teachers remember this.
In the 1800’s, making copies of documents was a painstaking task that office clerks such as
Ebenezer Scrooge’s Bob Cratchit, spent hours on. Many invention patents came along, including
the Papyrograph in 1874, the Electric Pen in 1876, and the Cyclostyle in 1881. The Mimeograph
was marketed in 1887. Automatic stencil duplicators appeared in 1894.
Key inventors were David Gestetner - a familiar sounding name - and Thomas Edison. Both men
invented early items that were developed into later and better machines. Gestetner’s Cyclostyle
led to the first automatic duplicator, and Edison’s electric pen, was key in the development by
Albert Dick of the first duplicator, the Edison-Dick Mimeograph.
The Neostyle Co. marketed the first rotary stencil duplicator in 1898, with a choice of hand crank,
foot treadle, or electric motor. The Museum School’s Rotary Neostyle is hand cranked.
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