Photo by MURRAY CRAWFORD/Advocate Staff

Museum lending history

More than 400 museum artifacts will bring history to life in Red Deer classrooms with a new museum lending program. Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery offers objects for loan that include antique typewriters, armour and helmets, as well as pioneer related artifacts.

More than 400 museum artifacts will bring history to life in Red Deer classrooms with a new museum lending program.

Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery offers objects for loan that include antique typewriters, armour and helmets, as well as pioneer related artifacts.

The lending library was launched Wednesday. Abbey Cruickshank, Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery history educator, said it will facilitate hands-on learning in classrooms.

“To bring real life artifacts into the hands of kids where they can study them, look at them, interact with them and get a better understanding of what they are and their history,” said Cruickshank. “Specifically, I’ve chosen items that relate directly to the curriculum.”

To protect the integrity of the artifacts only a select number can go to classrooms and those that do go there come equipped with proper handling equipment, gloves, and instructions.

Some larger objects are available for classes to look at, however because of their size or difficulty to transport they must remain at the museum.

“We did choose things that could be touched,” said Cruickshank. “We had to chose stuff that could be handled without us there.”

The artifacts can be in the classrooms for as short as one session during a day or as long as a week.

“It’s hard to connect with a flat picture of something, but to look at it and hold it and see the size of it or to see what some of the aboriginal artifacts were made of it changes their understanding of it,” said Cruickshank.

“Kids are automatically interested if they can look at something and hold it.”

In total there are 300 to 400 items available for classes to take and study. Cruickshank said on average a classroom would take about five to 10 at any given time.

In the first week two classrooms have utilized the program.

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