Welcome to 32 views, a Kids’ Club exploration of all that is the Royal BC Museum.  This project is an opportunity for kids to see, move through, experience, question, discover, be surprised by, and wonder at all the oddities and extraordinary collections that make up the majority of the Royal BC Museum and Archives…much of which is out of sight from the public galleries.  So we are traveling around to go check it all out.

    Each week we’ll meet a new museum staff member, and she or he will show the kids what they find interesting about the place they work.  Throughout this year we’ll meet everyone from the CEO to the head of security…and many more in between.

    Week #1- Dr. Lorne Hammond, Curator of History

    And the kids…What a great group of kids to start this all off!

    We began in the student lunchroom and introduced ourselves and got used to using the camera by taking pictures of each other.  All (or most) of the photos in these posts will be by the kids.  Then we tried to puzzle out what a curator is…hmmm.  Most of the kids hadn’t heard that word.  I sometimes get confused myself.  Let’s go meet one.

    We took the freight elevator down to the basement, walking past the exhibit arts studio and the design studio, and then down a long hallway…



    …where we, by chance, ran into the collection manager for Paleontology, Marji Johns.  She showed us some fossils that she’s working on.  Thanks Marji.


    Then up to the 9th floor to meet Dr. Lorne Hammond.


    Lorne explained to us that curators in museums help acquire the objects in the collections, and gather the stories that go with those objects.  And then take those stories about individual objects to help tell the overall story of the people and places and events of British Columbia.  So what kinds of objects do we collect?

    Good question!


    and…wait, what’s that?

    Any guesses?

    Now on to the skateboard collection…

    Lorne mentioned that he tries to collect a new skateboard every ten years, to show the different kinds of designs over time.  This one below he collected in 1999 from a skate shop in Nanaimo.


    This one below is from much earlier.

    When Lorne was pulling the skateboards from the shelves to bring them over to the area where everyone can see, he said that he uses a cart in order to reduce risk.  One of the kids then said ‘you mean risk, like dropping it’.

    That’s right.

    Then it was on to the gallery.  But first…you get a nice view from the 9th floor of the Royal BC Museum.  And from the staircase.

    Lorne showed us the displays that he helped put together in Century Hall.  One that even includes a skateboard!

    The kids seemed fascinated by the old computers, and were curious about the different kinds of games that are old but that they still use.   Scrabble, my little pony…



    …which got me thinking. I am going to ask the next week’s kids’ club kids to bring clothes or toys that they would like to donate to the museum collection- to represent what kids wore and played with way back in 2013.

    Ok, so the last question to Lorne was ‘what is your favourite object in the collection?’  Lorne said that the one that he is working on at the moment is always his favorite.  He gets excited by the stories that he finds out about objects and that is always what is right in front of him.

    So thanks Lorne!  And thanks to the families that took part!  See you next week.

    Chris O'Connor


    Learning Program Developer

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