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Shane McCord

MA 2008
Art Archivist, Library and Archives Canada

Ottawa, Ontario

Your career starts here: the foundations for working with art archives

Shane McCord
1.  How are you applying your degree in Art History from Concordia?

As an Art Archivist at Library and Archives Canada, I work with Canadian art and Canadian Art History all day, every day.  The research skills and the knowledge base I developed at Concordia were an excellent starting point for me to develop myself as a professional in the field.

2. What do you value most from your Art History experience?

During my time at Concordia, the graduate seminars were very small and that gave a great deal of opportunity for students to speak.  I particularly valued how receptive the professors were to different perspectives and the patience they had by encouraging students to develop their ideas through discussion.  These seminar experiences became an excellent training ground for engaging in similar discussions as a professional.

3. Is there a particular memory that stands out from your time at Concordia?

The most notable memory I have is of the incredible patience, editorial skill and pedagogical sensitivity that I was exposed to.  My thesis supervisor, the ever impressive Dr. Martha Langford, knew exactly how to bring out my best work and I will never forget the many lessons I learned from her.

4.  What advice would you give to someone considering graduate studies in Art History?

I would encourage students, particularly those considering a career in an Art History-related field, to remember that their studies are only the beginning of a career. As imposing as a thesis or dissertation may seem at a given time, remember that it doesn’t need to be a work of staggering genius. As an archivist, I’d also encourage students to really take the opportunity to do research with primary sources. Go beyond reading the work of great art historians and theorists and get up close and personal with works of art.

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