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Administration, public relations and correspondence

Series consists of records relating to McLennan’s administrative role as a curator at the MOA, including public relations (interviews given, lectures given, publications about the museum and his work), annual reports and correspondence (inquiries from interested parties regarding certain artifacts, events, people and donations at the museum). The majority of this series presents itself in textual records, however there are also digital records included as well. There are a large number of digital images in the file ‘Photographs’ which depict various stages in the museum development of MOA, significant artists, MOA grounds and landscape, special events and visitors and milestone occasions.

Bill Reid

Series consists of records created and collected by McLennan relating to Bill Reid and his art held both in private collections and at the MOA. Projects included in these records are the installation of Raven and the First Men in the MOA and The Spirit of Haida Gwaii at the Vancouver International Airport. Photographs also document jewelry designed by Bill Reid, along with small sculptures, large scale sculptures, ivory and argillite works and drums.

General research

Series consists of records created and collected by McLennan in the course of research on Northwest coast art. McLennan kept files related to research conducted in other museums and archives, on artists he came into contact with, and a series of photographs depicting art styles and objects complied and organized by culture, and ideas and research for books. Each of these comprises its own sub-series.

Multiversity galleries

Series consists of records, photographs and research related to the planning for the installation of the Multiversity Galleries at the MOA. This project was part of the Partnership of Peoples Renewal project, which expanded the MOA and renovated existing gallery space. McLennan’s role included outreach to First Nations communities. In cases where members of the community could not travel to MOA, McLennan would travel to them bringing with him binders which were assembled to show the objects held in the MOA collections.

The First Nations communities which McLennan included as part of the community consultation process include: Comox, Kitselas, Stl’atl’imx/Lillooet/ Lil’wat/St’at’imc, Nlaka’pamux, Gitksan, Haida, Wet’suwet’en, Haisla, Secwepemc, Squamish, In-SHUCK-ch, Nuxalk, Heiltsuk, Tsimshian, Nisga’a, Salish, Comox and Kwakwaka’wakw.

Projects and events

Series consists of records created by William McLennan in the course of planning and photographing various projects and events at MOA.

Projects are considered as having a longer duration, often occuring outside of the physical museum building, and in cooperation with other bodies. McLennan often liaised with First Nation communities and artists during the planning stages of projects.

Events are considered as having occurred over a short period of time. Events were attended by McLennan as a MOA representative and photograph.

On both projects and events McLennan took on larger roles in addition to photographer such as community liason, presenting on topics, and designer. Each project and event comprises their own sub-series.


Series consists of records created by McLennan in the course of planning and designing various exhibits, both at MOA and on behalf of MOA for other institutions such as the World Expo in 1986. Each specific exhibit comprises its own sub-series. Graphic material includes photographic material depicting artifacts used in the exhibit, artifacts at other institutions that could potentially be used for exhibit, staff involved in exhibit, events held surrounding the opening and closing of an exhibit including any special ceremonies and other people and items related to the exhibit. Textual material includes label text, research conducted in order to strengthen the exhibits, correspondence between McLennan and cultural heritage institutions, administrative records (i.e. budgets and finances, schedules and time frames) and public relations materials.
Subseries 1 through subseries 64 represent an earlier time frame when McLennan’s role at MOA was more related to exhibit and graphic design than to actively curating exhibits. Subseries 65 through subseries 81 represent McLennan’s increased role as a curator of exhibits which he often researched, curated and did the exhibit design.

Building Projects

Series consists of materials used in the planning and design of the MOA Expansion projects which include visible storage and the Research Centre. Records consist of correspondence, memorandum, reports, grant application, budgets, design drawings, floor plans, and meeting minutes.

Textiles and Costumes

Series consists of an updated and expanded version of Anne M. Lambert’s textile book entitled “Storage of Textiles and Costumes: Guidelines for Decision Making” that was originally published in 1983. Darren Morrison was going to do the design work but did not because the project was cancelled and the updated version was never published.


Series consists of material related to Morrison’s role as a designer and involvement with the creation, planning and implementation of several exhibits at MOA. The designer’s role is to develop the overall physical presentation of the exhibit, and to determine how the exhibit can be an effective visual communicator. The designer develops ways of showing objects, graphics, and text that make up the exhibition.

The series is comprised of twenty sub-series corresponding to each exhibit that Darrin Morrison was involved in. Material consists of correspondence, exhibit catalogs, brochures, poster and invitation proofs, budgets, slides, copy and 35 mm negatives, floppy disks, project descriptions, postcards, artist histories, class schedules, artifact lists, floor plans, and display case dimensions.

CFI Partnership of peoples project

Series contains records pertaining to the Canada Foundation for Innovation grant named Partnership of Peoples that was awarded to the Museum of Anthropology in 2007. This project is often simply referred to by museum staff as 'the renewal'. David Cunningham was the lead project designer. His records include the architectural drawings from Stantec and Laboratorio Museotecnico Goppion, research and planning on furniture, lighting, locks, and security. In addition are photographs taken of all stages of the project.

Laboratory of Archaeology

Includes records related to the Laboratory of Archaeology (LOA) stream of the Renewal Project. LOA is not a part of MOA. Rather, it is a teaching and research unit within UBC’s Department of Anthropology in the Faculty of Arts. Since 1977 the Laboratory has occupied space in both the Anthropology & Sociology Building (ANSO) and MOA. Since 2010, the newly renovated LOA facilities, located in the MOA building, accommodate a state-of-the-art Collections Repository, the Borden Research Lab, the Lithic Analysis Lab, the Faunal/Botanical Lab (with research bays for faculty, graduate student, and visiting researcher projects), the Archaeochemistry Lab, the Ceramic Analysis lab, and the Scanning Electron Microscope Lab. Our research facility also houses the Archaeology Archives and a “Transition Lab”– an area for processing artifacts, flotation, and receiving.

The purpose of the LOA stream of the LOA stream of the Renewal project was to “create, in conjunction with the MOA facilities, one of the most advanced and comprehensive research facilities in Canada,” with the following specific objectives:
• To create an operational database of LOA’s 500,000 artifacts in a format compatible with the RRN
• To digitize a portion of LOA’s collections for use through the RRN
• To build a storage system that facilitates access to LOA’s collections, and that also allows respectful and appropriate storage of the collections, with special attention to culturally sensitive objects and wet site materials
• To encourage and facilitate interdisciplinary, collaborative research on LOA’s collections
• To mitigate insect and pest infestations in LOA’s collections
• To create an archaeology exhibit at the Museum
• To create (in conjunction with the Building stream) state-of-the-art archaeological laboratories and associated research areas
• To satisfy First Nations communities, program participants, and researchers by providing appropriate access to archaeologically recovered information including artifacts
• To respond to First Nations communities’ concerns with regards to the repatriation and relocation of ancestral remains contained within LOA’s collections
• To provide enhanced support for archaeological teaching and training at UBC
• To increase students’ ability to be engaged in research involving LOA’s collections
(purpose and objectives of the LOA stream taken from the MRP Program Scope Definition, 1.2.)

Sue Rowley was the LOA stream lead.

Reciprocal Research Network

Includes records related to the Reciprocal Research Network (RRN) stream of the Renewal Project. The RRN is an online tool designed to facilitate reciprocal and collaborative research about cultural heritage from the Northwest Coast of British Columbia. The RRN enables communities, cultural institutions and researchers to work together. Members can build their own projects, collaborate on shared projects, upload files, hold discussions, research museum projects, and create social networks. For both communities and museums, the RRN is groundbreaking in facilitating communication and fostering lasting relationships between originating communities and institutions around the world.

The RRN was co-developed by the Musqueam Indian Band, the Stó:lō Nation/Tribal Council, the U’mista Cultural Society and MOA. This collaboration ensured the needs of the originating communities as well as museums are taken into account at all stages of the development. (From RRN “About” page,, accessed February 26, 2020).

Ann Stevenson was the RRN stream lead.

Series is divided into subseries based on functions of the RRN stream.

Collections Research Enhancement Project

Includes records related to the Collections Research Enhancement Project (CREP) stream of the MRP. The purpose of this stream was to “provide enhanced access (visual, physical, and virtual) to the Museum’s collections,” with the following specific objectives:
• To bring all of the 35,000 Multi-MIMSY (database) collections records up to a consistent and standardized level
• To digitize all of MOA’s 35,000 objects, in a format appropriate for research access, according to a digitization strategy that will be developed as part of a coordinated MRP-wide IT strategy
• To develop a mounting system which facilitates object access while maintaining a high level of conservation standards, and to mount objects which require it according to this system
• To provide collections information in a format appropriate for research through the Reciprocal Research Network (RRN)
• To develop a flexible process for responding to originating communities regarding collections access, and to organize MOA’s objects within the Research Suite and visible storage in such a way as to facilitate that response
(purpose and objectives of the CREP stream taken from the MRP Program Scope Definition, 1.2.)

Heidi Swierenga (MOA Conservator) was the CREP stream lead.

Series is divided into subseries based on functions of the CREP stream.


Includes records related to the Building Stream of the Renewal Project (MRP). The purpose of this stream was to expand and enhance the existing MOA built space, with the following specific objectives:
• To build a new research centre comprised of four Research Suite including laboratory spaces, individual and group work spaces, and office spaces.
• To construct new storage space, including visible and compacting storage, to house MOA’s and the Laboratory of Archaeology’s (LOA) collections
• To respect the building and its exterior as a significant architectural heritage site in the renovations plans
• To create spaces where community members may gather and attend to collection objects in ways that respect their cultural traditions
• To improve the Museum’s financial viability by expanding revenue generating facilities such as the retail store, and by making its building operations more efficient
• To create enhanced Visitor Services for Museum users, such welcoming and warm arrival spaces which ate self-orienting and which provide all needed amenities
• To create efficient and supportive work spaces for staff, students, researchers, and volunteers
• To provide a welcoming and comfortable environment for all researchers using MOA’s facilities
• To provide enhanced teaching support within the new facilities
(the purpose and objectives of the Building stream taken from the MRP Program Scope Definition, 1.2.)

Jill Baird and William McLennan were the Building stream leads.

The series is divided into subseries based on the various functions of the Building stream.

Program Wide

Includes records produced by or related to the Program Wide stream of the Renewal Project (MRP). The purpose of this stream was to “provide overall program management for the MRP and its streams, and to capture the objectives and scope elements which, being common to all or most of the streams, would be more effectively managed in a consolidated manner.” The objectives of the Program Wide stream were:

• To ensure that the MRP aligns with and delivers on the strategic objectives of the Museum as outlined in the MRP objectives to the fullest extent possible
• To work with First Nations communities, other program collaborators, and MOA’s diverse communities to deliver the MRP in a manner that is in accordance with the guiding principles and vision of the Museum.
• To optimize the allocation of bother human and financial resources to maximize the overall effectiveness of the program.
• To implement information technology systems that integrate with each other, are sustainable, and support the mission of the Museum and the objectives of the renewal program.
• To ensure the Museum remains operational and functional throughout as much of the renewal program as possible.
• To ensure relevant funding agencies are satisfied with both the process and the outcomes of the MRP.
(Purpose and objectives of the Program Wide stream are from the MRP Program Scope Definition, 1.2.)

Jill Baird was the Program-Wide stream lead.

Material in the series includes early planning documents, budgets, committee and other meeting minutes, correspondence, records related to various sources of funding and staffing, communication with UBC and the University’s Board of Directors, records related to First Nations community consultations and partnerships, PR and communications documents, and records related to IT planning.

The series is divided into subseries based on the various functions of the Program Wide stream.


Series consists of photographs, negative and slides documenting activities of the Museum of Anthropology. Most activities took place at the museum, but some took place elsewhere. The activities documented include exhibit openings, exhibit preparation, celebrations, artists working, presentations, conferences, workshops, and notable guests.
Slides in subseries 1-5 are stored in five binders, arranged chronologically. Photographs, negatives and slides in subseries 6-8 are stored in boxes, arranged according to the events they depict. Slides in subseries 9 are stored in a box, arranged topically.

Public Programming and Education. University of British Columbia. Museum of Anthropology.

General Administration

This series consists of records created, received, and/or used by individuals, groups or committees responsible for public programming and education function of the Museum.
Contains records related to public programming and education policy development, finances, planning, as well as other administrative activities.
Records in this series include correspondence, memoranda, drafts, query/suggestion forms, meeting minutes, grants, acquisition proposal report, reports, guidelines, policy proposals, and handwritten notes.

Public Programming and Education. University of British Columbia. Museum of Anthropology.

Special projects

This series consists of records relating to special educational projects carried out by staff responsible for MOA’s public programming and education function, such as the development of exhibits and educational materials such as websites, videos, source books, text and image labels, and project resources. The series contains correspondence, meeting minutes, audio and video recordings, interview transcripts, photographs, internship reports, research trip resource binders, panels, exhibit comment postcards and tags, access handbooks, conference proposals, conference programs, conference reports, publications, and marketing materials.

Public Programming and Education. University of British Columbia. Museum of Anthropology.

Public programming and special events

This series consists of records relating to educational programs and special events for the general public at MOA. Educational programs include self-guided and guided tours, children’s programs, and programs for adults relating to museum exhibits. Special events include lectures, film series, exhibit openings, exhibits programs, dance and theatre performances, concerts, artist talks and demonstrations, seminars, symposiums, dialogues, workshops, summer camps, welcoming ceremonies for visiting cultural groups (such as Tibetan monks and Maori), fashion shows, book launches, and research interviews. The series contains press releases, brochures and handouts, correspondence, memoranda, reports, newspaper clippings, photographs, meeting minutes, program instructions, program development, attendance sheets, schedules, audio and video recordings, audiotape inventory, and interview transcripts.

Public Programming and Education. University of British Columbia. Museum of Anthropology.

School programming

This series consists of records created, received, and/or used by the staff responsible for school programming.

The series includes records which document the creation, organization, administration and execution of educational programming for students. The series contains the following kinds of records: correspondence, memoranda, press releases, school kits, teachers’ notes, educational program instructions, publications, evaluation reports, newspaper clippings, promotional brochures and handouts, interviews, interview consent forms, media consent forms, photographs, audio and video recordings, and other material related to school programs.

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