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qstuckey
Feb 25, 2020
In Research Reports
Following our hard work over the Fall, the research team embarked on a recreational trip to the much talked about Dr. Seuss Experience in Mississauga, Ontario near the Square One Mall. Never taking our inquisitive research caps off, the team immensely enjoyed diving into the delightful universe of the beloved children's author while also critically assessing the experience. As a child, I absolutely adored the works of Seuss and was surprised that such an exhibit did not exist when I was growing up. Going to the exhibit as a young adult I found to be enjoyable but not something I would recommend to everyone. The level of detail was staggering: scenes from Seuss books were brought to life like "The Cat in the Hat" and "The Lorax," yet there was no sense of the actual stories. Rather I found they were interactive environments with a game, activity or objects to touch which were stylistically culled from fragments of Seuss' stories. "The Cat in the Hat" for example was home to rubber objects which appear in the story like tea pots, cake and plates: with the cat in the background mechanically operated . Quotes from the stories were featured in each interactive room, but this was the extent of capturing the actual narrative qualities of the work. The focus was primarily on the aesthetics, which makes sense considering how unique the Seuss universe is. Just look at all the animated and life action adaptions of his work- the world in his books almost begs to be actualized in the real world. It is difficult for an exhibit focusing on an author to capture the literary qualities of their work, and I obviously wasn't the targeted age group but nevertheless I was left wanting more, yet still enjoying the hour or so we spent there. The most intriguing part of the experience for me was a display near the entrance which features early drawings and fan art. Overall, it was nothing groundbreaking nor was did it fail to entice, but I believe we as a team got a lot out of the exhibit. It was great to see our work in action and understand why museums/exhibits remain important educational and recreational public spaces.
A Trip to the new Dr. Seuss Exhibition content media
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qstuckey
Oct 10, 2019
In Research Reports
Since the past summer, I have switched gears from collecting and documenting archival material to showcasing the material. I have finished creating an annotated bibliography for both the images and the texts I have collected which feature children in urban, city environments. I started the project's official YouTube channel (curatingstory) and created a teaser video and a short profile on the Ryerson University Library and Special Collections as they have been extremely vital to our research. I have now begun pinning the images I have found on an amazing website: Historypin, seems like it was made for our project! It allows you to visually indicate on a map the exact or almost exact location of where a photograph, video or even song was documented. I have begun pinning all the images I've found which correspond with an exact location in the city of Toronto. I'm looking forward to creating more content for the channel and culling through the materials to find their present day locations. Perhaps I'll do a whole video revisiting those locations! Stay tuned!
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qstuckey
Jul 03, 2019
In Research Reports
The past two months of researching for the project have been both exciting and challenging. The month of May was spent primarily getting in contact with archival services to obtain permission to utilize the content I had curated. Many emails were sent back and forth with many steps taken to ensure the proper use of the content, I am happy to say that the process has paid off and the content I have collected can be showcased! I learned the importance of keeping careful records when you are conducting any research, especially when obtaining materials from a provincial archive. Throughout the month of June, I obtained several public domain picture books from the nineteenth century, came across YouTube videos illustrating city life and its impact on children and even began brainstorming ideas for the project's forthcoming YouTube channel. Throughout the remainder of the summer, I hope to continue collecting more diverse material and collaborate with the project leads and fellow researchers to begin creating content for the "Curating the Story Museum" YouTube channel. Stay tuned folks!
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qstuckey
May 09, 2019
In Research Reports
Reflecting on the second month spent conducting research for the project, I feel that both the quality and range of collected material has expanded beyond the first round. I began the second month by consulting the Ryerson University Archives and Special Collections for texts, images and visual media concerning childhood within city environments. Researching through the potentially useful material, I managed to locate several Children’s Picture Book texts from the Early Children’s Literature Archive (as part of the Special Collections at the university) which highlight the trials and joys of city life from multiple perspectives including the Edwardian age, the Victorian age and the Modern age. Some highlights include The Great Panjandrum Himself by Randolph Caldecott, And Miss Carter Wore Pink by Helen Bradley and Sammy Streetsinger by Charles Keepling. The most exciting part of that portion of the research was utilizing the Digitization Lab and learning how to take clear scans of the picture books, thereby making digitized copies for the final phase of the project. I also revisited the Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books and took some photographs of other urban/museum related children’s texts including The Infant’s Museum and The Juvenile Museum, however I found that the best way to create clear, digitized copies of the insides of the texts is by using the digitization camera at the university. There are texts from both Ryerson and the Osborne Collection that I have yet to curate for the research, nevertheless they have been located and documented. Additionally, I located further images of children in the city of Toronto utilizing the Toronto Public Library Digital Archives, the majority being from the mid twentieth century. I have found two key films from the National Film Board of Canada that may also be instrumental to the project as both present depictions of children interacting with the city environment: one at the Toronto Exhibition and the other in the downtown core. I will be curating the remaining texts from the archives and continuing to expand to other archives for further material including The Margo Sandor Children’s Literature Collection at the University of Toronto. Overall, I am grateful for the new skills I have learned, the range of material I have culled through and collected and I look forward to seeing what other hidden gems I find throughout this major Canadian city.
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qstuckey
May 09, 2019
In Research Reports
Over the past four weeks, my research for this project has been focusing on obtaining archival materials relating broadly to Canadian children’s stories, representations/depictions of children in Toronto/urban environments and representations/depictions of children in museum settings. Starting at the City of Toronto Archives, I looked through fonds relating to Images of Children’s Museum Activities and the Royal Ontario Museum. I managed to locate several (albeit not as many as I expected) rare photographs of children in the mid 1960’s at the Royal Ontario Museum as well as Black Creek Pioneer Village. The most exciting portion of my research came when I was put in contact with Vic Ingelevics, a curator of the past City of Toronto Archives exhibit “From Streets to Playgrounds” which focused on children, at the turn of the century, living in Toronto, particularly around the Elizabeth St. area. Dr. Ingelevics referred me to the official website of the exhibit where I was able to locate and obtain a variety of historical images of children in the Toronto area. The images I have saved for review were obtained firstly from the City of Toronto Archives, however the exhibit utilized other archival sources ranging from Archives Canada to more personal archival collections. I have also been locating children’s books (both archival and contemporary) relating to urban, city life and museum activities at the Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books. Some of these children’s books are specific to the Toronto area however the majority of them broadly reflect depictions/representations of children in cities and in museums. I have been keeping a list of these books as I find them online and in person at the collection, with this portion of the research still on going. Through the Osborne Collection, I have also obtained some images relating to children and children’s literature throughout the mid to late nineteenth century. I have also been exploring the genre of Children’s Films and Children’s Education on the National Film Board of Canada website, creating and reviewing short films which feature multicultural narratives related to childhood social acceptance, identity, relationships with peers, city life, maturation and even critiques of Canadian politics. Going forward, I believe my focus will be narrower now that I have gone through the past month of researching and locating useful material. The process has been exciting, stimulating and an excellent learning opportunity.
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qstuckey
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