Preserving public health materials in Canada
Award: 2016 Post-Doctoral Fellow
Erich is currently working at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health (DLSPH) on an AMS postdoctoral project that explores the place of the material culture of public health in local collections. Its focus is on Toronto as a historically-significant hub for research and the development of public health infrastructure, a centre for outreach in schools and hospitals, and an incubator of social efforts of national significance. All of these themes have generated material evidence that survives on campus and in nearby collections. The purpose of this project is to study the ways in which this material has survived in order to develop a policy for actively collecting and cataloguing public health objects at the University of Toronto.
Erich is very fortunate to be working with two supervisors, Chris Rutty, whose work as a medical historian involves the history of biological medicine production in Toronto, and Cara Krmpotich, who teaches Collections Management in the Museum Studies Program at the Faculty of Information Studies. He is also grateful for the assistance of an undergraduate student in the Material Culture Program at Victoria College who is conducting research on the history of disability using historical testing material. He hopes that a catalogued collection of public health objects will provide more such opportunities.