Thursday, October 9, 2008

Archives Week: What Archives Can Do For You!

Celebrating Alberta Archives Week: October 6-11

The Peace River Archives is a relatively new addition to the heritage work the Museum has been doing for the past 40 years. This year for Archives Week, we wanted to get the word out about the role of our Archives in the community.
PhotobucketA view of the interior of the Archives.

As an accredited member of the Archives Society of Alberta, we are committed to certain standards of care and preservation for the materials that we house. We monitor temperature and humidity and limit light exposure, all of which can contribute to the deterioration of records. We use archival standard storage materials to keep these records in the best condition possible.
However, we do not just keep the records around for the sake of doing so. We want these records to be accessible and available to researchers. Part of this process was to hire a full-time Archivist, which was made possible thanks to the support of the Town of Peace River.

As you can see, the Archives is a vital resource in Peace River and the research community at large. Other ways that the Archives can be involved in the community are to:

  • store your family's records with the utmost care and attention
  • aid in genealogical research
  • store the records of community clubs, business' and schools
  • act as a resource for care and preservation for your own archival items including photographs, negatives, maps, documents and even textiles!
  • provide access to microfilmed copies of the Peace River Standard, Record and Record-Gazette

Family Records & Genealogical Research:
Many people don't know that the Archives can be a central repository for your family's records. We exist to keep records alive and accessible, which includes private records as well as those of public institutions. Your family can bring in the records and talk to our Archivist, Wendy Dyck, about what types of records we keep and how we look after them. Many families have split up their records among siblings, cousins, etc. which can make it difficult to locate particular documents or photographs. The Archives can keep these records together so that any family member, especially generations down the road, can access the records and receive copies. The Peace River Archives has a high quality scanner and printer to reproduce these items for a nominal, cost-recovery based fee.

Club, Business and School Records
Public institutions often have 'dead' records that they may wish to have preserved but either space or human resources are an issue. Our Archives is an excellent solution as we are able to keep these records preserved and available. Each group in Peace River is a part of the identity of this town and as such, it is important that the records of these groups, schools, business' and the people in them are preserved.

How do I look after ....?
If you feel that you would like to hold on to your archival material, the Archives can also be a resource for how to best care for that material. You, as a community member, are always welcome to bring your items into the Archives where our Archivist can make recommendations for your particular collection, as well as refer you to other helpful resources.

The Standard, Record and Record-Gazette
The Museum was part of a micro-filming project with the Legislative Library for Alberta where virtually every issue from 1910-1983 was put on micro-film. The Record Gazette purchased a copy of these rolls and donated them to the Museum upon completion of the project. These are available for the public to either peruse or for specific research projects.

As you can see, there are many different ways that the Archives can interact with and be a part of the larger community of Peace River. If you have any thoughts or questions regarding the Archives, please don't hesitate to email us at or phone at 624-4261.

Happy Archives Week!

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