News Release Archive

Digging for buried treasure is something 19-year-old Paul Murray
loves to do. When it came to finding a summer job, he didn't have
to dig too far.

The second-year history and archeology student at St. Francis
Xavier University is working for the Fortress of Louisbourg's
archeology department.

For most of the summer, Mr. Murray has been organizing a
40,000-piece leather collection. Later this summer he will be
taking part in an archeological dig, something he anxiously
awaits. "I'm going to be doing some field work," he said. "It'll
be pretty cool."

Mr. Murray, a native of Sydney, began working in the archeology
department in May after approaching the Fortress of Louisbourg
Volunteers. Thanks to the Student Loan Employment Program, an
initiative of Nova Scotia Economic Development and Tourism, Mr.
Murray was able to offer his services to the fortress instead of
waiting for the fortress to contact him.

He learned of the program through his brother, a previous
participant. Mr. Murray said the experience his brother gained
through the program helped him land a job upon graduating last
spring. "It's a lot easier to find a job in your field if you
have experience," said Mr. Murray. 

The program is available to undergraduate students who receive a
student loan in the current academic year and who plan on
returning to school full-time. Applications for funding must be
made by mid-February, and once approved, students must find an
employer who will provide job experience related to their field
of study. The unique element of the program is that at least 60
per cent of the students' pay is held back and applied directly
toward their tuition in the fall. 

Mr. Murray said that having his schooling costs offset is a
bonus. "I like it. When I go back to school in September, I'll
have enough to pay for it."

Heidi Moses, assistant collections manager at the Fortress of
Louisbourg, said the program is a benefit to both employer and
student. "It's to our advantage to have an extra hand, and to
have somebody who's actually interested helps," she said. "He'll
have a lot of archeological lab experience, and that's hard to
come by. If he intends to go on further with it, then he'll have
something that a lot of students won't have."

Mr. Murray has been working on repackaging, identifying and
cataloguing the fortress's leather collection. Pointing to his
favourite leather artifact, an 18th-century baby shoe, he said
he's learned more about leather --and shoes --than he thought he

"I didn't know anything about shoes, but now I know a lot about
18th-century shoe construction, all the parts, stuff about
leather handbags, belts and buckles."

Ms. Moses said his experience with the leather collection is
definitely an advantage as it can be applied to other artifact
collections. In addition to research, Mr. Murray has become
familiar with the provenience system, a cataloguing system that
allows archeologists to identify where a specific artifact has
been found on a site. The system is used throughout the
archaeology field. "It is something that every project, no matter
where you work, is going to have," explained Ms. Moses. 

Mr. Murray credits the Economic Development and Tourism program
with helping him gain the valuable experience. He said the
program simplifies the search for relevant work experience, as
wages are covered by the department.

Mr. Murray chose to have 70 per cent of his pay saved for him.
Since he's living at home for the summer, the remaining 30 per
cent gives him sufficient spending money.

This year, 65 students have taken advantage of the Student Loan
Employment Program, now in its third year of operation.


Contact: Angela Campbell
         Economic Development and Tourism

NOTE TO EDITORS: Colour photos available upon request.

ngr                August 27, 1997 - 9:40 am