Stories from the Archives

Glenbow's Archives hold thousands of stories of western Canadian lives and events. In November 2013, with the generous assistance of The Calgary Foundation, we invited retired Calgarians to explore some of our little-used research files and to prepare articles about what they discovered. This was a pilot project aimed at involving more people in the community telling community stories using Glenbow's resources.

Talking with Myself

Arlene Stamp

Click here to read the article in PDF format

Note from the author

I am grateful to the Glenbow for accepting all the material relating to my 25-year-long practice as an artist in Calgary and Toronto. This material has not yet been formally arranged and described and exists in about 20 boxes and bags under my name and the manuscript number M-9509. Because the material has not yet been organized for easy access, the location references (Box numbers) for this writing project are temporary and informal. In addition to my own records, a collection of items representing my mother, Mary Smith, is also housed in the Glenbow archives under her name and the manuscript number M-8808.

About the author

My first degree was in Mathematics from the University of Western Ontario but I went back to school in mid-life to get a degree in Fine Art from the University of Calgary. My practice as an artist began in Calgary, then continued in Toronto for 12 years, then back in Calgary for 10 years. I was attracted to the Stories from the Archives project because it offered an opportunity to look at some of my own donated archival material from the point of view of a researcher since I plan to arrange and describe this material with the help of an archivist later this year.

I approached this project in much the same way as I approached any of my art projects. I have often worked with pre-existing material, looking for ways of re-presenting it in order to lay bare what I found interesting about it. I never knew when I began a project what the final form would be. But as I worked with the material, ideas came up to suggest how it should be presented. The interesting thing that happened with this project was that notes to myself from many years ago about how to approach an art project suggested the form I should use for this written piece.

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