A peek into the past

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February 9, 2017 12:00 AM

EVERY DOG HAS ITS DAY In February, 1946, this dog team was on route from Whitehorse to Winnipeg. It stopped in Marshall, Sask, to rest a while. These pictures are just a sample of the history contained in the Lloydminster Regional Archives. LLOYDMINSTER REGIONAL ARCHIVES PHOTOS

Use the past to inform the present to guide the future.
It’s Archives Week across Saskatchewan, so that saying may ring especially true for some as they celebrate the contributions archives make to enriching life in our respective communities.
Don Duncan, president of the Lloydminster Regional Archives (LRA), said the local organization took the liberty to extent the week, so it could put on a photograph display at three senior’s residences across the Border City.
“We needed to coordinate our displays with the different residences, and as it turns out they’re fairly busy places, so we had to schedule according to their needs,” Duncan said.
The first display will be at the Pioneer Lodge on Feb. 23, the next on March 2 at Hall Holme and the third will be at the Dr. James W. Hemstock Assisted Living Residence on March 9.
“It’s the first time we’ve gone into these residences to meet with senior citizens there, and really we have, I suppose, three primary purposes in going,” said Duncan.
The first purpose is raising awareness of the archives in the Lloydminster community, which has been gathering documents, photographs and stories of historical significance in the region since 1998.
Duncan added there is now a respectable collection of tens of thousands of items and more than 20,000 photographs, so anyone wondering how the Border City has come to its present state can find the details.
The second purpose of setting up at the seniors’ homes is because all the documents and photos gathered are donated by people in the community and region, so the archivists want a chance to ask the seniors if they have any significant items they’d like to make available to the archives and community as a whole.
“Lastly, our motivation; we are a member driven volunteer organization and we certainly encourage individuals to take out membership in our archive association and we’d be really please to receive new members,” Duncan said.
He also explained an archive is an important piece of any region because it captures the character of a community in its history, thus helping a community better understand itself.
It also helps people to know who’s contributed to the growth of their area over the years, and in the case of Lloydminster, what economic drivers made the community successful for more than 100 years.
It’s the role of the archivist to decide if a piece is important enough to preserve and make available, through techniques that fix cracked or faded photos, as well as preserving print documents to keep their physical integrity stable through the coming years.
Then its up to the archivists to catalogue the tens of thousands of items, with Duncan saying the LRA holds itself to the high standards set by the Librarian Archives of Canada, so the items can be readily retrievable for the researchers looking for them.
“The term we often use as a slogan for our Lloydminster Region Archives is that we serve as the communities memory,” he said.

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