The New Triple A Art, Archive and Artefact – At the Military Museums Lessons and Implications from a Converged Environment

By Colleen Sharpe and John Wright.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Convergence in libraries and museums has been understood in a limited, almost theoretical way. The Military Museums Library and Archives and Art Gallery, managed and developed by the University of Calgary is a converged organization. This unit is a unique partnership in Canada between academe, the Department of National Defence and private stakeholders. Our case study demonstrates how the concept of convergence is internalized and becomes embedded across diverse professional practices. Additionally it was observed that there is also a convergence of the audiences each unique professional practice brings with them. Working relationships within the museum have created a unique collaboration of collections and synthesis of expertise. Interactions and new understandings have manifested themselves in a unique approach to public presentation that informs not only the audience but also the practitioners of art, artefact, and archive. Finally we discuss organizational implications and exhibition possibilities realized through creating an art exhibition from within a converged environment.

Keywords: Convergence

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 4, Issue 5, pp.311-324. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.207MB).

Colleen Sharpe

Curator of Art, The Military Museums Library, Archives and Art Gallery, University of Calgary Libraries and Cultural Resources, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Colleen Sharpe has been a professional curator for more than a decade. Previously a curator at The Nickle Arts Museum. She was responsible for numerous exhibitions, including the showcase exhibition “Ancient Peru Unearthed, Golden Treasures of a Lost Civilization” that premiered at The Nickle Arts Museum in September 2006. Colleen is a producing member and past Executive Chair of NUTV Campus Community Television and is a documentary filmmaker. Her film “Wake of a War Bride” has been screened at film festivals and museums across Canada and was nominated for an Alberta Motion Pictures Industry Association award in 2007. Colleen was named by Calgary Inc. as a “Top 40 Under 40” in September 2007 and University of Calgary Internationalization Achievement Award in 2008. Colleen has been a board member for several arts boards in Calgary, including Truck Gallery and Alberta Media Arts Alliance. Colleen is currently curating “Art in Service of War” for The Military Museums and “Gallery Without Walls” at The Art Gallery of Calgary. Colleen is an alumni of The University of Calgary where she obtained a BA in Archaeology and minor in Museum and Heritage Studies in 1998. She spent a number of years in South Africa working with AFS (American Field Service) and obtained her MA in Heritage Studies from the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

John Wright

Head, Military Museums Library, Archives and Art Gallery, University of Calgary Libraries and Cultural Resources, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

John holds a Masters of Library and Information Science from the University of Western Ontario, a Bachelor of Arts in Russian, European and Medieval History from the University of Toronto, and a Masters in Soviet and East European Studies from Carleton University. John has completed his PhD examinations in International Relations and Comparative Politics at the Department of Political Studies at Queens University, specializing in Russian politics and democratization. In his current role as Head of the Military Museums Library, Archives and Art Gallery he managed the move and set-up of the new, converged unit and has been a regular contributor to the Museums exhibition content and development. John has worked as a research analyst at the Parliamentary Research Branch of the Library of Parliament and as a consultant, a policy analyst, and a policy advisor within the Canadian federal public service, where he authored parliamentary reports and legislative recommendations, wrote speeches and developed policy and program recommendations. Previous positions include work as a sessional instructor in the Department of Political Studies at Queen’s University and as a government documents librarian, also at Queen’s University.


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