Workplace Learning: Barker Veterinary Museum (HIST*3480) | College of Arts

Workplace Learning: Barker Veterinary Museum (HIST*3480)

Code and section: HIST*3480*04

Term: Fall 2020

Instructor: Dr. Lisa Cox


AD-A Remote:

This course will be taught online in an Asynchronous format without days and times.

Details provided by instructor: You will be conducting independent research and writing work with scheduled meetings. The course and your workplace will be entirely online. Scheduled meetings will take place remotely using the Zoom of Microsoft Teams platform (links will be provided).

Course Synopsis

Have you ever thought of working in a museum? The Barker Veterinary Museum, located at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) at the University of Guelph, contains one of the largest veterinary artifact collections in North America. The museum is in the process of launching its website and your experiential learning opportunity will involve participating in the development of one of the museum’s first online exhibits, “Hitting the Books: The First Library at the Upper Canada Veterinary School”. You will provide research and content on volumes from the OVC’s first library, much of which is housed in Archival & Special Collections at the University of Guelph Library. This exhibit will make this unique and often hidden part of the College’s history more accessible to researchers and those interested in the history of the OVC and veterinary medicine more broadly. Along the way, you will learn about the best practices in museum exhibit curation. In connecting this work experience to your academic discipline, you will be responsible for writing a series of short, critical reflections and a research paper which includes an analysis of the literature in the collection and what it might be able to tell us about veterinary education and practice in mid-19th century Canada.

Learning Outcomes

By the successful completion of this course, student will have learned:

  1. Identify and critically assess 18th and 19th century veterinary works;
  2. Understand select aspects of veterinary medicine both historical and contemporary and communicate them;
  3. Research;
  4. Fundamental understanding of exhibit planning process;
  5. Communicate compelling history in an online platform for a wide public audience;
  6. Know the value of public engagement and institutional history;
  7. Reflect on their own work in a critical manner.

Methods of Evaluation and Weights

Interpretive Planning Document    30%
Exhibit Panels and Labels    20%
Weekly Critical Reflections    15%
Final Essay    35%

Texts and/or Resources Required

No required textbook. Resources via the web will be provided.

Project Timeline:

Week 1: Initial meeting. Introduction to the online exhibit project. Instructions and readings will be provided to introduce students to the history of veterinary medicine, the OVC, and the library collection that will be the focus of the exhibit. A guide for critical reflections will be provided and the interpretive planning document assignment discussed.
Week 3: Meeting to discuss progress, interpretive planning document.
Week 5: Interpretive planning document due.
Week 6: Meeting to discuss exhibit labels and panels, final essay. Critical reflections 1-6 due.
Week 8: Meeting to discuss progress on final essay.
Week 9: Exhibit labels and panels due
Week 13: Final essay due. Second set of critical reflections 7-12 due.

*Please note that this is a preliminary web course description only. The Department of History reserves the right to make changes to this outline without notice before the start of term. The final, binding course outline will be distributed during the first class/meeting of the semester.

Interested students should contact: Dr. Cox,