Monthly Archives: April 2015

Thank you, volunteers!

Them Days owes a lot to our volunteers. They do so much for us, whether it’s picking up or delivering magazines, stuffing envelopes, interviewing, driving the editor around ;), writing stories, playing music, taking photos, or making flummies at our Culture Days event, serving on our board or one of our committees, typing transcripts, or any of the other ways we’re helped out. We get by with a little help from our friends, as the song goes. (By the way, if anyone is hankering to do some transcription work, we need some volunteer transcriptionists! Our fisheries issue work is continuing at a fast pace, and even though Tabea is hard at transcription work every day, we have a TON of interviews!!)

We have so much to be thankful for at Them Days, and on this volunteer week, I would like to say a special thank you to all the volunteers who have helped out at Them Days. Your work is truly appreciated.

Here’s a photo I don’t think I shared before on the blog. It’s the presentation of the first Isaac Rich Award for Volunteer Service. We gave it to John Heard last year (if we want to be technical, it was for 2013, but I think the presentation was early in 2014). John is a wonderful man who has done so much for Them Days and other organizations in town. He has an infectious spirit and is the humblest person I have probably ever met. He’s a truly good soul and I’m happy to know him.

Then-chair Susan Felsberg presents the first-ever Isaac Rich Award for Volunteer Service to John O. Heard last year.

Then-chair Susan Felsberg presents the first-ever Isaac Rich Award for Volunteer Service to John O. Heard last year.

You may remember that the second award was given to Dave Massie, another awesome volunteer at Them Days.

Okay, this is funny. As I’m typing up this blog post, I get a new email notification and here is its contents:

The Royal BC Museum celebrates
National Volunteer Week with a terrific invitation

VICTORIA, BC – Today, to celebrate National Volunteer Week, the Royal BC Museum launched Transcribe (, a crowd-sourcing website that invites the public to transcribe valuable historical records from our archival collection.

By donating their time to transcribe letters, diaries, journals and other materials, volunteers can help share BC’s history from the comfort of their living room, library or local café.

Don Reksten, a long-time member of the Friends of the BC Archives and volunteer at the BC Archives for 12 years, was one of the first to transcribe a document on the website. “From the BC Archives point of view, the benefits of Transcribe are twofold,” he said. “The documents are now available online and you end up with searchable transcriptions. It’s really a worthwhile endeavour.”

The concept behind Transcribe is simple: the Royal BC Museum provides digital photographs of archival materials alongside a blank text area, and users type exactly what they see. Anyone with access to the internet can participate. Volunteers simply visit the website, choose a collection and start transcribing, all on their own time.

“Crowd-sourcing is an increasingly popular way for archives and museums like ours to improve the accessibility of their collections,” said David Alexander, Head of New Archives & Digital Preservation at the Royal BC Museum. “The more volunteers who turn their attention to the Transcribe website, the easier it is for future users to search for – and learn from – handwritten source records.”

Once the finished transcriptions have been approved by Royal BC Museum staff, the data will become searchable on the Transcribe site, using relevant keywords. Visitors to the site are not obligated to transcribe; they will also have the option to view the materials as an online exhibition or to browse existing transcriptions.

Volunteers already serve a significant and visible role at the Royal BC Museum, with 426 volunteers providing assistance by doing work as varied as classifying specimens, greeting visitors, leading tours and mailing information to members. The beauty of the Transcribe project is that volunteers can assist from just about anywhere.

The site currently features diaries, letters and other materials from WWI. As the project grows, new collections and new audio and video media will be introduced. The first batch of images includes the letters of Victoria lawyer Arthur Douglas Crease, who described the war in letters to his family. Crease survived the war, and his letters became an important part of BC’s history.

Isn’t that funny? Here I am, talking about a need for volunteer transcriptionists, and up pops this email! I love this idea!

Happy Volunteer Week, everyone! Much love to our volunteers. ❤ ❤ ❤



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Filed under Aimee, the board, volunteers

Storytelling Workshops

Do you live in Cartwright, the Upper Lake Melville area, Rigolet, Hopedale or Nain? Are you interested in storytelling? Come join us for a free one-day workshop with storyteller Gary Green!

2015 Storytelling Workshops Rigolet

We will be in Rigolet on April 27; Hopedale, April 28; Nain, April 29; Happy Valley-Goose Bay, April 30; Cartwright, May 1.

If you’re interested, please get in touch with us!

About Gary:

Gary Green is a storyteller and author who has performed both inside and outside the province for a variety of groups ranging from youth camps to international conferences. Among the groups for which he has performed are the Cape St. Mary’s Performance Series, Battle Harbour Historic Trust, Canadian National Storytelling Conference, St. John’s Library Board, Schooner Tours, St. John’s Folk Festival and Trails, Tales and Tunes. Gary has performed on television as part of the series “Legends and Lore of the North Atlantic” and on several radio stations. He has performed in the international award winning productions “Inside Outside Battery” and “Foghorns and Heartbreak”. In addition, he has performed in the national “Tale of a Town” project. Gary has been a consultant for the use of storytelling in the interpretation of the Battle Harbour National Historic Site and is very active in developing and delivering a story-based interpretation of The Crow’s Nest Officers’ Club National Historic Site. Gary developed and operates two history-based story walks – “The Battle of Signal Hill” and “The First Escape”, a walk through downtown St. John’s based on the escape of a WWII German POW. He is a board member of the St. John’s Storytelling Festival, and a founding board member of the Soundbone Traditional Arts Foundation. Gary teaches storytelling at the Vinland Music Camp and is a regular performer at the St. John’s Storytelling Circle.

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Filed under business/announcements, Events, travel

Snowblind and Seal Finger is out!

Snowblind and Seal Finger COVER

May I introduce to you our most recent special publication, Snowblind and Seal Finger. It’s a revised and expanded edition of the 1998 publication (which is so rare, we didn’t have one in the office until someone bought a used one and donated it to us). It’s all about early health care, home remedies, and medical stories. Right now, it’s only available through Them Days, as we haven’t sent it out to retailers yet, so come on over to our office or our website and buy it! This is not one of the regular magazines, so if you’re a subscriber, it won’t come in the mail automatically.

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Filed under Aimee, Alicia, business/announcements, the magazine

Happy Birthday, Daphne!

I have the first spare moments that I’ve had since I-don’t-know-when, so time to start blogging!! There is oh-so-much to say. This perhaps isn’t the most work-related post, but I suppose it’s the most time-sensitive, so let’s get to that first. Happy Birthday!! Daphne had her birthday last week, and now she’s studying about archives. So that’s pretty exciting. Our office has been very well-travelled lately.

Tabea and I went out at lunch time and bought some cheesecake squares and a LOT of candles and sparklers (they were all so fun! I couldn’t help myself, even though we could have gotten by with just two. Did you know you can get candles with coloured flames?) Then Daphne’s niece dropped by to say hello and we conspired with her to get Daphne back in the archives so she wouldn’t know that we were frantically lighting all the candles and arranging the squares on a plate. (Those plastic shells are SO NOISY.)



They really were very exciting candles and sparklers.

They really were very exciting candles and sparklers.

Blowing out her candles

Blowing out her candles

That’s it for now! Time to tidy up and leave for the day on this gorgeous (and very warm and melt-y) spring day!

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Filed under Aimee, Daphne, Tabea