We have very exciting news to share! As you’ve been hearing ANSM has some big plans to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. These include crowd-sourcing a virtual exhibit, working with high schools to make the final selection and conduct the curation, and then working with performance artists to tell Nova Scotia’s story through theatrical interpretation of the selected artifacts and stories they contain – 150 touchstones.
Working with the 50+ museums that contribute to NovaMuse.ca, we will be seeking to identify the top #150Touchstones that celebrate Nova Scotia and its role in Canadian national development and identity. The first step in the process is to get people to vote for their favourite artifacts – for the 'touchstones' to include in the project that they feel really represent their community, its stories, and Nova Scotia as a whole.
NovaMuse now hosts 213,000+ artifacts from over 50 museums. Even though only 112,000 of those records have images, we know that is still a LOT of stuff to sort through to find your favourites. To help show the diversity of the collections ANSM and contributing museums will be showcasing some favourites on social media using the tag #150Touchstones. But we hope that people will also check out the collections of their favourite museums to find and vote for the artifacts they think should be included.
|Timeline view of some confederation-era artifacts|
We have some really cool artifacts that relate directly to confederation, like the simple but impressive anti-confederation banner at the Desbrisay Museum. We also have a lot of artifacts that date to this era, like military forage caps at The Army Museum. But Nova Scotia's role in Canada isn't limited to the 1860s. We have amazing artwork, inventions, and cultural touchstones that represent the diversity of the province and the adaptability of its people. From Mi'kmaq quillwork to African Nova Scotian basketry to Acadian dyking shovels to Planter and Loyalist furniture brought from elsewhere to modern folk art, we have a lot of stories to share.
|Voting Button View|
So let's get down to business. To vote for an artifact, just go to its page and click on the Vote #Canada150 button underneath the image. You'll be asked to answer a simple math question to confirm you are a human, because we don't want any spambots to mess up the results. We want to hear from people, not computer programs, so this little security measure had to be added.
If you want to support a particular museum you can use the contributor map tab to click on that museum and see its collection, or you can use the browse tab to refine general searches until you see the types of artifacts you're interested in. There are no limitations on voting, so enjoy exploring the collections and voting for as many artifacts as you would like, as often as you would like. And keep an eye on social media to see which artifacts are being shared by museums. If you want to see how other people have voted and look at the top contending artifacts, you can visit the "most voted" page.
|Most voted page view|
This is an opportunity for us to hear from Nova Scotians (and our broader audience) what they appreciate about our museums and their collections. This has been one of the goals of NovaMuse since its inception and I for one am excited to see which artifacts rise to the top. Getting this kind of information will enable us and the museums to better serve Nova Scotians through our exhibits and programs. We're constantly adding new artifacts and information to NovaMuse, and would love to align those efforts with the public interest.
So let's start spreading the word and getting out the vote!