Award-winning paper examines the role of women in history making in B.C.

UNBC Stories
A person wearing a graduation cap
Rebecca Campbell won the W. Kaye Lamb Award from the BC Historical Federation for a paper she wrote about the impact women had on history making in B.C. between 1950 and 1970.

Before launching into her curatorial career, Rebecca Campbell studied the women who came before her.

Campbell, who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History this spring, recently received the W. Kaye Lamb Award from the BC Historical Federation for the best student works in the third- and fourth-year category.

Campbell won for her paper titled, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t interested in old things: Women’s amateur history making in B.C. between 1950 and 1970, which she wrote for a class taught by Assistant Professor Dr. Ben Bradley.

“This award means a lot to me, to have my writing and work recognized. It is also important to me that the women in my paper are recognized,” she says. “Historians looking at B.C. history rely heavily on local museums and archives, and on the work of many women in B.C. who have had life-long careers in local museums and archives.”

During her final year of studies, Campbell had a couple of opportunities to apply her studies in real-word settings. She worked as a Curatorial and Programming Assistant at the Central BC Railway & Forestry Museum and took part in an internship at the Northern BC Archives and Special Collections at UNBC.

“In both of these positions, I worked very closely with many women,” she says. “When you look around at many museums in B.C., you see women having lifelong careers as curators, directors, or on society boards. I wondered when this trend began – if women were working in museums earlier or if it was even a trend.”

Upon graduating, Campbell is putting her degree to work as the Curatorial & Operations Assistant for Huble Homestead/Giscome Portage Heritage Society where she oversees the artifact collection and exhibits.

“A well-fleshed history program prepared me for my career immensely,” she says. “My degree from UNBC has given me significant research and writing skills. The internship at the Northern BC Archives prepared me for describing archival collections and handling archival materials and artifacts. This experience was necessary for me to be fully prepared for my career.”

This is the second consecutive year a UNBC student won the province-wide competition for the W. Kaye Lamb Award. Last year, Lydia Kinasewich won for her paper on Harrison Hot Springs.