Taking the time to network with colleagues in your field can bring forth an abundance of valuable knowledge.
We are all experts in our field, to a point. We rely on years of training and practice at what we do, however we cannot ever expect to have a complete set of tools.
Glass specialists, military specialists, appraisers, art experts, antique dealers and enthusiasts all bring something to the table for the museum professional.
We should be encouraged to ask questions of our colleagues in other or the same profession as ourselves. Between us we likely have the whole picture if we pool our knowledge.
Recently on the Ontario Museum ListServe email circulation, I saw answers of a question come from different people, that gradually build the picture.
Annandale National Historic Site at Tillsonburg shared this pin, and wanted to know what the PM stood for. They had knowledge that the lady who owned it was part of the IODE in the early the 1950s.
The knowledge network them jumped into play, when a colleague on the network stated:
“The cross, anchor and heart symbol on your pin would indicate that it would be associated with the Ladies Orange Benevolent Association, or LOBA, and therefore connected to the local branch of the Orange Order.”
“The PM typically indicates that this is a Past Masters or Past Mistress Jewel.”
More information has come to light…. kindly posted by Forrest D. Pass, PhD, Exhibition Development and Research Officer, Ottawa. This brings together the previous ideas, and confirms the pin is an LOBA pin for a Past Mistress.
“I’ve pasted below a page from the Orange Family Regalia Catalogue, issued by Dominion Regalia Ltd. of Toronto about 1958 (the copy I have scanned is from the Roxborough Loyal Orange Lodge #623 fonds at the Archives of Ontario). You’ll see that your jewel is No. 227 at the top centre. According to the accompanying price list, it sold in 1958 for $13 in gold-plated sterling, or $26.75 in 10K gold, a little less than the #229 and #669 next to it; engraving was an additional eight cents per letter.”
We each carry memories of the items we have processed and worked on, plus the research we have discovered….. but together with combined shared knowledge, we can be all the more successful.