Traces of our past

By Sandra L. Brown

February 7, 2018 1:57 PM

We usually think of history as something from the distant past. 
Remnants of yesteryear are all around us including collectible antiques, faded photographs, peeling paint, restored buildings and buildings now in adaptive reuse. 
But when you dig deeper, much as an archivist or researcher does, we discover something exciting as history leaves us visible traces of our past. 
These traces provide a story about what life was like “back in the day” as my youngest son would say.
Older buildings visible around Lloydminster are often equated with the past.  A question comes to mind though, “How old does a building have to be before it is considered old?” 
We may experience social pressure to turn our backs on local history even though it’s full of individual memories which together make up the community we live in. 
These memories can be found in the recesses of our minds, recorded in books, encapsulated in protective coverings or in buildings weathered by time and other elements.
History isn’t confined within the walls of a museum or archives; but rather surrounds us every day and is constantly developing. 
We are literally on history’s doorstep as history is happening this very moment. 
We can step over it, ignore it and close the door quickly; or we can embrace it, preserve it and understand that the past creates our future.  Are you curious in learning more about Lloydminster’s past?  Are you hosting a community event this summer and need to do some research on past traditional activities?  Perhaps you’re curious about what was originally located downtown? 
The Lloydminster Regional Archives (LRA) is a great place to discover the answer to these questions and learn about the past details of local and area history.
They collect the authentic happenings of our municipal government, organizations, family histories, businesses, etc. 
These are in the form of written records, photographs, newspapers, other publications, oral recordings and digital files. 
This information is made accessible to the public upon request, preserves our “community memory” and adds to the general accountability of our community. 
These valuable resources are preserved through the committed work of two trained archivists and a number of dedicated volunteers who have contributed countless hours. 
These records are truly a gift from Lloydminster’s past and share our story.  The archives and its acquisitions are a legacy for future generations to learn from.
The LRA officially opened in 2003 and is governed by the Lloydminster and District Centennial Commemorative Association (LDCCA), a registered non-profit association with charitable status. 
Funding is provided through grants, community donations and numerous fund-raising events. With its rather unique status of spreading out across two provinces because of the Meridian, the LRA region extends somewhat equally from Islay in the west, to Maidstone in the east, and includes the area between the North Saskatchewan River in the north and the Battle River in the south.
The areas of Tulliby Lake, Onion Lake, Frog Lake and Fort Pitt are also included due to the notable historical events that occurred there.
The Lloydminster Regional Archives welcomes the support of the communities that they serve. 
Donations of historical significant documents, including photographs and books are encouraged and gratefully appreciated. 
Areas of interest include but are not limited to agriculture, Barr Colonists, businesses and professions, education, yearbooks, family history, government, obituaries, oral histories, health, directories, oil and gas industry, religion, sports, and transportation. 
Saskatchewan’s 13th annual Archives Week is Feb. 4 – 10, which coincides with the birthday of Edmund H. Oliver. 
He was the first professor of history at the University of Saskatchewan and is noted as the province’s “father of the archives.” 
Provincially, Saskatchewan led the way to establish a digital data-base of photographs online among other notable accomplishments.
This celebratory week shows respect to the role archives play in society.
Could your memories stand the test of time and be accurately shared through your family’s generations? 
As much as we would like to, we can’t reverse earth’s space time continuum, but we can revisit the past unfolding it one memory at a time and preserve it.
Support your LRAs and play a role in preserving our community memory for future generations to enjoy.

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