Alpine Club of Canada


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Le Club Alpin du Canada Gazette printemps 2017 5 peruse books on wildlife conservation, mountain flora, and the changing state of glaciers. ere are even fiction books with short stories and poetry featuring the works of writers who have been inspired by mountain landscapes. My good fortune of working at the Whyte Museum began as an intern in the Collections department as the cul‑ minating semester of my post‑graduate diploma in Museum Management and Curatorship from Ontario's Fleming College. Ever since completing that initial internship in August 2015, I had been waiting for an opportunity to return to the Whyte and the beautiful Rocky Mountains. In the Fall of 2016 that opportunity presented itself through the Young Canada Works Building Careers in Heritage internship, and I began working in the Library with the ACC collection. Upon hearing the details of the pro‑ ject I was immediately excited. Working at the Whyte Museum, reading and researching books and periodicals on mountaineering, and living in Banff— could it get any better? e position is basically a trifecta of my interests: museums, books and mountains. I also get to utilize my skills that I acquired from my post‑graduate work in collec‑ tions and information management, and in social media marketing. My main task is to ensure that every‑ thing is organized and in good condition so that members and researchers can take full advantage of the collection. is includes performing inventories and updating the database for all the books, pamphlets and periodicals in the ACC's collection. My favourite treasures that I've come across in the collection are the ones that have additional stories to the ones pub‑ lished within their pages. For example, one copy of A Climber's Guide to the Rocky Mountains of Canada from 1943 belonged to Edward C. Porter, ACC Life Member and avid collector of mountaineering books from around the world. In fact, it's his collection that makes up a large portion of the ACC's Library. Within its pages we found a letter written in 1951 to Mr. Porter from another famous moun‑ taineer, Georgia Engelhard Cromwell, in which Mrs. Cromwell discusses their shared routes in the Canadian Rockies. We also found two photographs, one of Mount Chancellor and one of Mount Victoria. On each photograph Mr. Porter had drawn in his ascent route, marked the date, who he climbed with (in this case it was well‑known guide Ernest Feuz), and how long it took him to summit each peak. Obviously, these books can offer readers so much more than just informa‑ tion as they offer a glimpse into the lives of mountaineers and their roles in moun‑ taineering history. My secondary task for this internship is getting the collection out into the world of social media for all to discover. is is being done primarily through Instagram and what we like to call the Shelfie Series. Once a week, I have selected a book or a series of books and posted them on the Whyte Museum's Instagram account (@whytemuseum). is allows people to see what the ACC has in its Library, share it with friends, and hopefully make plans to come and discover more. e Whyte Museum was even featured in the Canadian Mountain Network's live stream on International Mountain Day in December 2016 where I discussed the ACC's collection and our Shelfie Series. A third project has involved show‑ casing a portion of the ACC's book collection in the Whyte Archives refer‑ ence room. We have chosen to highlight the following regions: British Columbia, Canadian Rockies, Yukon, Baffin Island, the Himalayas and Mount Everest. We This plaque commemorates the long-standing partnership between the ACC and the Whyte Museum, and the contributions of Library benefactors Marj Hind and Bev Bendell. The Alpine Club of Canada Library collection at the Whyte Museum in Banff features treasures such as this 1924 Vancouver Section invitation to its 19th anniversary dinner to one A.O. Wheeler, Esq. have also moved some of the ACC's periodical holdings into the reference room, including the Canadian, American, British, Appalachian and Himalayan alpine journals. Both the book and peri‑ odical collections will be housed in brand new shelving units installed in the refer‑ ence room, allowing the public and ACC members better access to the collection. Working with the ACC collection has provided me with a great intro‑ duction to e Alpine Club of Canada itself. A few of the books relate to the history of the Club, its founding and the achievements of many of its members. While cataloguing and organizing the periodicals and pamphlets in the collec‑ tion however, I gained a glimpse into the true community that exists within the ACC. In particular, the stories told in the ACC's Summit Series publications show not only the great achievements of ACC members, but also the companionship, compassion and shared thirst for adven‑ ture and learning that can be found in this community among the mountains. I cringe to admit that I am not yet a member of the ACC. However, I must emphasize the yet, because after spending just three and a half months working with the ACC's amazing collection, learn‑ ing about its history and meeting some of its members, it seems to be an inevitable adventure that I am excited to lace my boots up for.

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