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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Are the images free for reproduction?
  2. What types of artifacts are in the McCord's and its partners' digitized collections?
  3. How can I find artifacts related to a specific subject?
  4. Why are there so few artifacts related to the working class?
  5. The search engine turns up some pretty bizarre things...
  6. Is it possible to view a tour produced by students?
  7. How do I start a tour?
  8. Can two people work on the same tour at the same time?
  9. What do I do if I can no longer access a tour to change it?
  10. Where can I find additional information for my project?
  11. How can I research digitized artifacts on the Internet and integrate them in a tour?
  12. How do I document an artifact?

1. Are the images free for reproduction?

The copying of the resources (images and descriptions) to other databases is not allowed. However, the images may be downloaded and reproduced for any non-commercial pedagogical purpose related to school educational activities at the primary or secondary level, on the condition that both the source - © McCord Museum - and the catalogue number of each image are indicated.

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2. What types of artifacts are in the McCord's and its partners' digitized collections?

  • The Keys to History database, accessible on the Museum's Web site under the Collections - Search tab, contains 136,000 images of artifacts. Principally representing the 1850 to 1940 period. These artifacts were drawn from the collections of :
    • The McCord Museum of Canadian History;
    • The New Brunswick Museum;
    • The Musée acadien de l'université de Moncton;
    • The Musée acadien de l'université de Moncton;
    • The Centre d'études acadiennes de l'Université de Moncton;
    • The North Vancouver Museum & Archives;
    • The Guelph Civic Museums;
    • The Sir Alexander Galt Museum & Archives (Alberta);
    • The Musée minéralogique et minier de Thetford Mines (Québec).
  • The McCord Museum's database alone contains more then 118,500 images. In it you will find:
    • mostly vintage photographs (Notman Archives)
    • but also paintings and other illustrations, costumes and accessories, everyday objects (some of which were used by Native peoples) and manuscripts.
  • For an overview of all of the Museum's collections, look under the Collections tab.
    • The collections of the McCord Museum reflect the tastes and interests of its founder, David Ross McCord (1844-1930), a wealthy Montrealer who lived during the 19th century. He had an abiding interest in the origins of this country, Canada, and so he created a collection that bore witness to the way of life of the Native peoples, to the French Regime and to the British empire.

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3. How can I find artifacts related to a specific subject?

  • Explore the collections by choosing a theme (see Resources for themes).
  • Think of particular items that might be related to the subject.
    • Note that for concepts (for example, justice and poverty) it is difficult to browse relevant artifacts because these subjects are not indexed in this way in the database.
    • You must try to pinpoint precise aspects of the reality you are exploring.
  • Using one of the search engines (found under the Collections tab), do several searches:
    • For example, to find material related to the "Spanish influenza", search the terms "disease", "medicine", "disaster", etc.
    • For example, to find out more about "industrialization",start searching using the terms "industry", "machine", "tool", "worker", "wages", etc.
  • The advanced search is available for the following McCord collections only : "
    • Notman photographic archives;
    • Costumes and textiles;
    • Decorative Arts;
    • Ethnology and Archeology;
    • Painting, Prints and Drawing;
    • Textual Archives.

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4. Why are there so few artifacts related to the working class?

  • Because not everything has survived the ravages of time.
    • It is, for example, difficult to find clothing worn by workers, who had to wear their clothes until they were threadbare.
  • In addition, in the 19th century, the working class rarely had the means to be photographed.
    • There are more photographs of industrial installations, taken upon the request of the business owner, than there are photographs of workers on the job.
  • Finally, in the 19th century, because few people of modest means knew how to read and write, these people left few written records.

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5. The search engine turns up some pretty bizarre things...

  • The term you searched for might appear in the description of the artifact. That is probably why the search engine came up with that.
  • As with any search, you must analyze the results to see if some of the items might be relevant to your research.
  • To more easily locate documented artifacts, select the Description Present sort order.

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6. Is it possible to view a folder produced by students?

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7. How do I start a folder?

  • 1. Select one or more images by clicking on the Select Image link.
  • 2. To view your selection, click on the Display My Images Selection link.
  • 3. Click on the Create a folder link and fill in the information requested.

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8. Can two people work on the same folder at the same time?

  • No. If you do so you might lose your data.

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9. What do I do if I can no longer access a folder to change it?

  • Check the name of the folder, first by trying to view it:
    • Under the My Folders tab , select View My Folders.
    • Make sure that the name is spelled correctly (with the correct capital and small letters).
  • If you could not view the tour, check the password:
    • Under the My Folders tab , select Modify My Folders.
    • Check the capital letters, whether a word is plural or singular, the accents and any other special characters that you might have used in the password.
  • If you cannot find the password, contact our webmaster

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10. Where can I find additional information for my project?

  • In EduWeb, see the sections History texts and Links which provides access to, among other things:
    • excerpts from history books;
    • texts by historians related to the subjects of the inquiry ;
    • a summary on the main events in the period 1840-1945 ;
    • various historical essays (on hockey, on the period and industrialization, on the Victoria Bridge);
    • Web sites containing historical information and/or images.

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11. How can I research digitized artifacts on the Internet and integrate them in a folder?

  • The artifacts in the Museum's collection are the starting point of an inquiry that you might want to follow up elsewhere (see the links suggested in EduWeb):
    • Be sure to select at least one image from the Museum's collection to start your folder.
    • Do additional research on other Web sites and download on your computer any images you want to use.
    • Make note of the source of any image you copy (title, date, author).
    • You may also copy images from books. Once again, acknowledge the source (title, date, author).
    • Then, add the new images to the folder you have already created by clicking on the Add an image link and filling in the requested information.

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12. How do I document an artifact?

  • To document an artifact (whether an object or an image) and learn more about its various facets, you can use the approach we at the Museum call the keys to history. Here are some examples for an object:
    • WHAT: what was the object used for and what is it made of?
    • WHO: who produced or used the artifact?
    • WHERE: where was it made and used?
    • WHEN: when was it made and used?
  • Finally, try to determine the significance of the object in relation to the question you are researching.
    • For example: Why is the object important?
  • For other ideas, consult the grid on " Interpreting artifacts', in EduWeb.