Kenneth Peacock made his first trip to Newfoundland in 1951. In total from the period of 1951 to 1960, he made six trips to the island during the summer months to travel and collect his recordings. In these trips, Peacock collected music exclusively in the outports of Newfoundland. These were the rural, more isolated communities, which were sustained primarily on the fishing industry. Like Barbeau, Peacock believed that authentically traditional music could only be found in the most rural areas; growing urban centres such as St. John’s had been influenced too much by modernity, especially communication technologies and thus modern culture itself.
To understand the contributions made by Kenneth Peacock, we have to first appreciate the institutional context in which he did so much of his work. His fieldwork in Newfoundland would not have been possible were it not for the earlier interests and initiatives of Marius Barbeau. When he met Peacock, Barbeau was the head of the Folklore and Anthropology Department at the National Museum of Canada. Barbeau formally retired from the Museum in 1949, before Peacock began his fieldwork, however Barbeau continued his work and relationship with both Peacock and the Museum throughout his official retirement until his death in 1969 (1).
Almost a year ago to the day, I completed my Master of Arts Degree in Public History. As part of this degree, I wrote a Major Research Essay, and now that I’ve had enough distance from it to look back on my research without cringing *too* much, I think it only makes sense to start rewriting it for this space. I am a public historian after all!
The last couple weeks have been a blur. I finished my internship in Fort St. John, and as a way of concluding my time there, I wrote a blog post on the museum’s blog with my final thoughts on the experience. If you want to read that, you can check it out here: https://fortstjohnmuseum.wordpress.com/2017/03/21/final-thoughts-from-the-intern/
Well. I left this longer than I intended…..
My only excuse is that, now that my internship is coming to an end, I have been spending my spare time on the job hunt for my next adventure. And also Netflix. And Youtube….
That being said, work has been very hectic over the last several weeks, and I have finished and begun a whole list of projects. The past couple of weeks have been all about getting messy and making mistakes, so thanks for the heads up, Miss Frizzle! In my last post, I mentioned that I had finished my first small exhibit that was going to be installed at the North Peace Regional Airport. Well that was installed shortly after that, and I couldn’t be happier with it!
I guess I have to start the new year off by saying, “Whoops!” The hectic month of December definitely got the better of me, so this post is very, very late. What that does mean, however, is that I have plenty to share about all of the festive activity that was happening at the museum throughout the month of December.
The past two weeks at the museum have been busy ones, and as December approaches, I expect things are going to get even busier. The biggest difference lately is that we have had a lot more special events happening. For example, this past week we had three different programs, two of which were brand new and were being tested out for the first time, plus a special event one evening.
Since my first post about my new internship, I have continued to be challenged by my job and to learn new skills on an almost daily basis. Week five was particularly special because I got to test myself on whether or not I remembered some of the things I learned on my very first day.
On October 3, 2016, I started my first internship and paid work in the field since graduating from my MA. Now, I’ve been applying for jobs all over the country all summer, while also working overnights in a grocery store to make ends meet. This meant waking myself up part way through my weird daytime sleep so that I could brush my hair, have a cup of tea, and do skype interviews without looking like I had just been asleep, and then going straight back to bed after so that I could go to work that night. Not exactly the most fun time I’ve ever had.
This post is very late in coming. The only excuses I can offer is that it is apparently much more difficult than I thought to get yourself into a productive writing routine after you have graduated and are no longer receiving grades for your work/crippling criticism/are now much more invested in your netflix schedule. But I digress.