You’re in your final year of university! Why did you choose to attend Quest?
I chose Quest because of the Block Plan, and because I couldn’t imagine myself in a university with class sizes over 20 students.
We’re happy to have you, Thea! So, tell us what you’ve been up to with this archive project.
The Strangway Archive is a collection of interesting and rare materials, many of which relate to the NASA Apollo and Voyager missions. The collection was donated a little over ten years ago by the founder and first chancellor of Quest, Dr. David Strangway. Up until this summer, the collection, which includes 3500+ items, was still largely untouched.
I indexed the collection over the summer, and created a budget for how to best preserve the materials for the future, with the help of library staff and Quest faculty.
As the summer went on, I realized the pressing need for a proper archival space at Quest. My mission, which started as a seemingly simple task to catalogue the Strangway Archive, turned into a larger journey of advocating for the establishment of an archive at Quest.
How did you first become interested in this work?
I got involved after Dr. Jamie Kemp introduced us to the Strangway Archive in her Cabinet of Curiosities class. We put on the first ever curated public viewing of the collection in our ‘Moonshot’ exhibition at the end of the Block.
After opening the archival boxes and learning about the history, I didn’t have the heart to put it all back into the cardboard boxes after the course—so I decided to do whatever I could to preserve the collection in the short time I had left at Quest.
And what is your ultimate goal for this project?
My goal is to see through the preservation of the Strangway Archive and the establishment of an official archival space at Quest. I have been applying for grants to cover the cost and working closely with members of staff and faculty to explore different avenues of funding.
I’ve also been working with members of staff and faculty to advocate and apply for an archival space at Quest that would function as a resource centre for other Quest students.
My ultimate goal is a lofty one, but there has been an incredible amount of support for the project from all corners of the Quest community. I will do my part, until the very end, to ensure as much progress as possible before I graduate!
Good for you! What’s one thing you want people to know about the Strangway Archive if they are unable to attend your talk on October 19 at 9-10am in the Quest MPR?
If there is one thing that I wish everyone knew, it’s that an archive at Quest would be beneficial to everyone in the community, not just those personally interested in Strangway’s collection.
An archive at Quest would mean the establishment of a space dedicated to the preservation of scholarly outputs by students and faculty (such as Keystones and faculty research), of artistic outputs (meaning proper care of all the art around campus), and of future donations to Quest. The David Strangway Memorial Archive would be a teaching and resource space available to the wider Quest community that would also serve to continuously stimulate the production and preservation of the institutional history.
Thea is talking at the Strangway Archive Presentation on October 19 from 9-10am in the Quest MPR.
Following the Strangway Archive Presentation, Thea and Quest’s Interim CAO and Arts & Humanities Tutor (Art History and Visual Studies) Dr. Jamie Kemp will lead a sample class as part of the 2019 Quest Family Weekend activities. Details to be announced after Thea’s talk.
Donate to the Strangway Archive Project today!