Archives Week

Archives Week is celebrated annually during the first full week of February.
Saskatchewan's first Archives Week was celebrated in 2006.
Events featured during past Archives Weeks have included phone-ins shows on Radio; celebrity reading events, open houses and evenings of films in archives across Saskatchewan or of archival value to the province, a screening of the 1973 Saskatchewan-made film Paperback Hero was an example.

The "Archives Pavilion" at the Saskatoon Heritage Festival has been a regular feature in Saskatoon an Regina hold annual events, but other communities including Craik, Cut Knife, Humboldt, LaRonge, Lloydminster, Melfort, North Battleford, Prince Albert, Regina, St. Isidore de Bellevue, Shaunavon, Swift Current, Wilcox and many more across the province all hold events to "Celebrate Archives".

Archives Week will continue to be an annual event, celebrated during the first full week of February starting on the Sunday.

  • February 7-13, 2021
  • February 6-12, 2022
  • February 5-11, 2023

2021 Events

SCAA's 16th annual Archives Week will look different, but the SCAA and communities across Saskatchewan are committed to celebrating Archives Week in the province on February  7-13, 2021. Our members will once again bring Saskatchewan’s archives into the provincial spotlight.

Map of displays and virtual events

Lloydminster

Lloydminster Regional Archives will be setting up a several socially distanced exhibits using reproductions of photos and documents from their collections.

  • February 7-26 - They will be displaying historic photos at the Servus Sports Centre.
  • February 8 - On their website they will be premiering a side-show tour of an inside look at the LRA's office and workspaces.
  • February 7-13 - During the week you can "like" their Archives Week Facebook post and be entered to win a Canadiana themed gift basket! The draw will be Feb. 17.

Melfort

The Melfort & District Museum has created 2 banners promoting the museum, its activities, and archives. Banners will be placed in the Melfort Mall during Archives Week, and permanently in the Kerry Vickar Centre.

Moose Jaw

The Moose Jaw Public Library Archives are celebrating Archives Week 2021 with a virtual program for local history buffs. Participants will be challenged with identifying people, places and timeframes in pictures selected from our archival photo collection. Long time Moose Javians are welcome to share stories and memories surrounding the featured photos.

The Saskatchewan Council of Archives & Archivists promotes Saskatchewan's documentary heritage through leadership, support and education of archives and archivists. Archives week is celebrated during the first week of February every year. It will be a bit different this year, but there are a number of virtual exhibits available through the SCAA.
You can check out Member Projects https://www.scaa.sk.ca/virtual-exhibits/member-projects/ and
SCAA Projects https://www.scaa.sk.ca/virtual-exhibits/scaa-projects/ including some information on the Spanish Flu in Saskatchewan.

MJPL will be celebrating Archives Week by hosting a virtual History Mystery program showcasing images from our archival photo collection. Join us Thursday, February 11, 2021 @ 2:30 on Zoom. Click the link https://palliserlibrary.zoom.us/j/83755305888 or enter meeting code 837 5530 5888.

North Battleford

The City of North Battleford Historic Archives are excited to host their 13th annual presentation for Archives Week. They will display a collection of photographs and textual records entitled “Look Back at the 1930’s.” This is a continuation of the decades of growth from previous years pertaining to the development of North Battleford. This display will include approximately 25 large visual boards featuring transportation, businesses, schools and lifestyles in North Battleford in the 1930’s.

They will be setting up the display and information booth at the Battlefords and District Co-operatives Territorial Place Mall in North Battleford on Thursday, February 11th to Saturday, February 13th.

The Archives Week presentation gives the City of North Battleford Historic Archives an opportunity to thank all who have already contributed and an opportunity to invite citizens of North Battleford to donate material to our Archives.  Most importantly, our presentation informs the public of our archives and our role in preserving historical documents and photographs.

Office of the Treaty Commissioner

The Office of the Treaty Commissioner’s Library and Archives is planning to hold our grand opening during Archives Week on February 10th, 2021. The grand opening will be a virtual event, but will include:

  • A pipe ceremony
  • A drum song by Lyndon Linklater
  • A virtual ribbon cutting
  • A virtual tour of the collection

Regina (Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan)

Video Tour

Visitors are invited to tour the Archives through a video exploration of public research spaces and storage areas, available on the Archives’ YouTube channel. Content has also been added on YouTube to share historic films from the Permanent Collection as well as interviews from a Heritage Saskatchewan Living Heritage video project ‘COVID-19 Culture’.

Display

An in-person and virtual display on ‘Winter Sports in Saskatchewan’ is also being launched during the Week.

Archival Videos

We have several original digitized archival films we will be featuring on our YouTube channel.

Regina

In conjunction with Archives Week, Crista Bradley, an archivist in Regina, will be speaking about her new picture book, If These Places Could Talk: Snapshots of Saskatchewan.  Written for children ages 4 & up, it has also been garnering significant attention among teachers and history lovers. The book features 100+ historic and contemporary images of Saskatchewan places, past and present, drawn from the collections of archives, museums and libraries around the province. It also includes vibrant original artwork by Wendi Nordell. Crista will speak about the fun she has had on the journey from initial book concept to publication. This event is part of a series of presentations hosted by the Saskatchewan Seniors' Association. It is free and open to the general public.

 

TELECONFERENCE: Friday, February 12, 2021 at 2:00PM
Call Toll Free: 1-800-967-7148 Participant Passcode: 472075

Shaunavon

Grand Coteau Heritage & Cultural Centre will be celebrating Archives Week 2021 by presenting an “I Spy Window Display” on Centre Street which would celebrate archives. Photographs, documents and other items from their museum archives which will be scanned, printed and displayed as a collage in the storefront window of a partner business along with a list of items that viewers are challenged to find in the collage of images.

St. Isidore de Bellevue

In celebrating Archives Week 2021, February 7-13  - Célébrons la Semaine des archives 2021, Archives de Bellevue will have a Tea & Treasures « OLD BUILDINGS … STORYTELLERS » Thé Nouveauté « LES BÂTIMENTS D’HIER … NOUS PARLENT AUJOURD’HUI » La Semaine des Archives  le 7 -13 février 2021 Bellevue SK and online Presentation and Tea

(Online and Care Home)


Yorkton

The City of Yorkton Archives will be setting up a display in the rotunda of City Hall showcasing the general history of the municipal archives. To complement this display, they will print and distribute postcards with tips on “How to best-care for your old photographs” which will promote the City of Yorkton’s Archives (encouraging residents to access our contents and to consider donating collections) and Archives Week.

Why Archives Week?

One thing we have learned is that the memories of Saskatchewan's many achievements are well documented by its archival record. Historical texts, photographs, films, audio recordings and other archival material have been key resources in the telling of our story. Books such as Saskatchewan: A New History and the Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan, as well as numerous documentary films, newspaper articles and television advertisements could not have been produced without this province's archival institutions.

But few of the people reading those books or watching those documentaries ever stop to consider the historical records that went into making them, or the work that is done to ensure that those records are acquired, preserved and made available. Saskatchewan has over 50 established archival institutions. Saskatchewan's archivists have preserved millions of photographic images, gigabytes of electronic records and thousands of hours of audio recordings and moving images. They have also been at the forefront of technology-enhanced access to those records. Saskatchewan leads the country in producing the greatest number of "virtual exhibits," many of which have K-12 educational components. These provide instant access to key photographs and valuable documents.

Saskatchewan archivists argued for and helped to develop Archives Canada - a national database of archival information. Provincially, we have developed the Saskatchewan Archival Information Network (SAIN), an on-line database of textual records as well as being the first province to initiate an on-line provincial photograph database. 

In honour of our province's heritage and the work that has gone into ensuring its preservation, and to promote the role of archives in society, we celebrate "Archives Week" in Saskatchewan, on the first full week of February, this helps kick off Heritage month and coincides with the birthday of Edmund H. Oliver, who was the first professor of history at the University of Saskatchewan, and arguably the father of archives in this province (see biography).

Archives Week fosters our identity and pride in our past with displays and special events. It elevates the role of our province's archival institutions as keepers of authentic evidence of our past, keeping archives on our map!

Archives Week: Edmund Oliver

Edmund Oliver's Role in Establishing Archives in Saskatchewan 

Although the first mention made of archives was by the territorial government in 1897, no comprehensive collection of records was then pursued. John Hawkes, first legislative librarian, began collecting material in 1907 but did so rather haphazardly, without a discernable sense of selection or appraisal (he referred to collecting "a whole drayload of matter.") The concept of archives was thought about most seriously following the hiring of Edmund Oliver as the University's first professor of history in 1909. Before he arrived Oliver wrote to University president Walter Murray advising him of entreaties he had already made in terms of acquisitions, saying "I have found that students must do laboratory work in history as well as in physics and we must secure the equipment necessary as soon as practicable." Within two years of his arrival Oliver had met and discussed the opportunity of establishing primary research resources with Hawkes, Premier Scott, and Arthur Doughty, the Dominion Archivist; in these initiatives he had the active support of Walter Murray. While Oliver was traveling throughout the province collecting materials from families, his correspondence to Murray indicated his appreciation of the need for appraisal within a collection, and he also foreshadowed our current understanding of archives as vehicles not only of heritage but of accountability and critical analysis. He wrote Murray: "As I understand my work...it should produce not trained historians, but capable and intelligent citizens. As soon as we secure adequate equipment [his 'laboratory for history'], I have hopes that our students may be able to contribute something to the intelligent discussion of public questions. In part this will be a new field even for myself but I am convinced that in this direction lies a great opportunity."

Oliver's conversations with Murray resulted in a letter from Murray to Scott in 1911, suggesting "a commission to go into the question of the preservation of historical documents, or rather for the collection of provincial archives," further suggesting the commission be "a purely advisory body" consisting of the Premier and another member of government, two members of the legislature, a professor of history from the University, the President of the University, and the provincial librarian - altogether remarkably similar to the eventual provincial archives Board established three decades later. Also in that letter, it is clear that Murray and Oliver envisioned an archives collection of both government and private papers. Moreover, both Oliver and Murray, recognizing the value such a collection would have for their students, were concerned not only with future interest in such documents, but in their immediate access and use.

Professor A.S. Morton, often mentioned in regard to the development of the provincial archives, was hired in 1914 - instantly becoming the sole member of the history department, as Oliver (and Frank Underhill) had both joined up for war service. There would have been no reason for Morton, new to the country, the province and the University, not simply to have accepted the philosophy of proactive acquisition as part of his, and the history department's, mandate. This doesn't diminish Morton's role in vigorously pursuing the establishment of the Historic Records Office and, essentially, the provincial archives. Nevertheless, there is good evidence that Oliver truly initiated, and effectively began, a coherent provincial archival collection. Oliver appears to have had and understanding of the role of acquisition, appraisal, access, and accountability in archival work, and he understood that archives serve to document our past as well as inform our citizens. His birthday, 8 February (1882), is therefore a good date to start "Archives Week" in Saskatchewan.