It’s time for me to say goodbye to all of you as I head home for the holidays (home being Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario). Banting House will still be open until the 21st, but I won’t be writing blog posts until the new year.
I can’t wait for the holidays, but I’m also overwhelmed by how quickly the first half of my term at Banting House National Historic Site of Canada has gone by. “Learning by doing” has proven to be a very educational experience so far. First of all, I’ve learned a LOT about Sir Frederick Banting. He was a much more accomplished man than I was previously aware of. I’ve also learned that working in a small museum is a job that draws upon many different kinds of experience and abilities. Research skills, organization, knowledge of history and a respect for archival material has been helpful to me at Banting House, but I’ve also done a lot of work related to customer service, social media, graphic design and public relations. Even if it seems outside of your comfort zone, if you’re considering a career in public history, I would recommend finding a local historical society, heritage site, or museum that you can start volunteering with. Not only can this help direct your career plans, it can help with course work! I’m sure Banting House will give me plenty of fodder for my next semester at Western University, which includes “Introduction to Museology” and “Interactive Exhibit Design.”
I’ve had a lot of fun telling you about my work at Banting House, and getting to meet you during tours and special events. At the beginning of the year I couldn’t have guessed what working here would be like. I think one of my favourite things about working at Banting House is the fact that it promotes both history education and a humanitarian cause. History and diabetes awareness both mean a lot to me, and it’s been fantastic to have a job that combines the two. I feel proud to be able to tell people about the birthplace of insulin. It’s a great example of how history can have a real impact on us here and now.
As I wrap up this blog post I am getting ready to attend a Christmas luncheon downstairs (complete with tacky sweaters!). I want to wish all of you a fun and healthy holiday season, and all the best for the new year. See you in January!
This blog post was written by Stacey Devlin, graduate research assistant at Banting House NHSC. Stacey is a Master’s candidate in Public History at Western University.