Honouring Lloydminster's past

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February 10, 2015 9:02 AM

Mayor Rob Saunders stands in front of a photograph of his father, Wes Saunders, being honoured by Newcap Broadcasting. The mayor was on hand to make some remarks at the Archives Week reception at city hall on Feb. 5. - Josef Jacobson Photo

On Feb. 5, the Lloydminster Regional Archives (LRA) held a reception at city hall in celebration of Saskatchewan’s 10th annual Archives Week, recognizing archivists for their role in preserving Saskatchewan’s history.

Photographs of the Lloydminster area from 1885 to 2013 were presented on the walls of city hall with nearby captions describing the scenes the pictures depict. Similar exhibits were also displayed at the Lloydminster Municipal Airport and Lakeland College.

“On behalf of our city council I’d like to thank our local (LRA) committee and all the volunteers for celebrating archives week,” Mayor Rob Saunders said in his remarks to the crowd gathered in council chambers. “We can be quite proud our history is in good hands.”

LRA president Don Duncan thanked the city, business partners and volunteers for their help in maintaining the regional archives.

“This is a happy occasion for the archives because it gives us the chance to share part of the excellent collection that we’ve developed over the years,” Duncan said. “I think we can truly claim to having become our community’s memory, and it’s a pretty good memory.”

Duncan said that the LRA has around 20,000 photographs, negatives and slides in its collection, and volunteers have already digitized up to 6,000 of those materials.

“We look forward to having many of those images posted online, so that our community in general and researchers around that world and, maybe especially, students in our schools will have access to photographs and interviews and locally-produced television images,” he said.

“We’re here to celebrate the development of that rich resource.”

Along with uploading these materials, Duncan wants to work on developing what he calls the “descriptive data” so the collection can be properly catalogued. But he says their current space is no longer suitable for their growing collection.

“We need to keep adding to our collection not only to represent the history of 100 years ago, but also yesterday’s history too. And we’ve outgrown the facility,” he said. “As well, our current location is in a basement, and although it has been dry to date, we can’t risk having an irreplaceable collection below ground and we do look forward to relocating to the (Lloydminster) Cultural and Science Centre where our collection will be above ground.”

Lloydminster Cultural and Science Centre manager Shawna Maurice says she is excited to be housing the LRA’s collection. She says the museum has enough space to store the materials and the means to keep them safe.

“The museum has a controlled environment with humidity and temperature and environmental controls that we maintain to preserve our collection,” she said. “

The location, I think, will benefit both of us as well to have us both together. I think there’s a good natural synergy between the museum and the archives.”

The pictures will be on display at city hall until Feb. 27.

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