We’re an Ottawa-based practice offering specialized planning services to small museums, archives and historic sites. With decades of curating, conservation, administration and communications experience we are ready to help with all your collections, exhibition and development needs.
At the most basic level we provide heritage sites with practical information, expertise and equipment in the realms of documentation, conservation security and safety. Beyond that, we help you deepen community connections and realize your institution’s potential as an engine of cultural and economic growth. With methods based on best practices worldwide we help you identify goals and resources; align stakeholders; develop knowledge networks; and implement plans for rapid, continuous improvement. If you’re interested in learning more about our services and products, let’s talk.
Graham Larkin (PhD Harvard 2003) provides expertise in research, curating, communications and heritage tourism. From 2005-2011 he was Curator of European and American Art at the National Gallery of Canada. He has published widely on many aspects of material history and received more than a dozen major grants and fellowships. Current projects include an effort (with Lizz Thrasher) to bring the heritage wool industry back to Almonte ON, and a gathering of stories about Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans for the 2017 Canada 150 commemorations. You can get in on the conversation by following his #fishstories tweets. Other recent work includes a review of The Anarchist’s Guide to Historic House Museums, and an hour-long interview with the authors.
Lizz Thrasher (Art Conservation Tech Diploma, Fleming College, 1995) is a seasoned object conservator who has prepared and treated artifacts ranging from liturgical vestments (St. Mary’s Church, Dawson City, Yukon) to wool processing machinery (Mississippi Valley Textile Museum, Almonte, ON) and Cmdr. Chris Hadfield’s collapsible guitar (Canada Museum of Science and Technology, Ottawa). The biggest artifact Lizz has worked on is the Diefenbunker in Carp, ON, where she has a day job as Facilities Manager and Acting Director. At Small Museums Canada she leads collections care workshops, develops collections care products, and writes about best and worst cleaning practices.
Use the menu above or buttons below to survey our full range of professional services. The first step in our approach is an assessment evaluating your museum’s capacities in ten key areas. We also offer a wide range of custom services to help your institution maintain essential standards across the board.
In keeping with our dual commitment to professionalism and community engagement, we provide dynamic, hands-on workshops in which a professional curator and conservator work together to walk you through the essentials of documentation and collections care. Go to this page for details and contact information. Our innovative donation service makes it easy for anyone to give museum-grade products and services to their favourite institution at the click of a button. Our museum-grade collections care products come complete with detailed instructions and are ideal for institutional or home use.
Thanks for anything you can do to help us help small museums. Proceed to this page for a discussion of provincial standards, and how we can help you meet them.