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, but other events in communities including 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.

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

  • February 4-10, 2018
  • February 3-9, 2019
  • February 2-8, 2020

February 4-10, Proclaimed as Archives Week!

Archives Week 2018

Archive Week 2018 poster, postcards and bookmarks

To help celebrate the 13th annual Archives Week the SCAA has once again produced postcards and bookmarks for our members to distribute to the public. The SCAA and communities across Saskatchewan will be celebrating Archives Week in the province February 4-10, 2018. Events will once again bring Saskatchewan’s archives into the provincial spotlight as never before!
These events by SCAA members will include Reader nights, historic film nights, open houses and various types of individual and inter-institutional exhibits that will focus on the abundant sources of Saskatchewan’s history and heritage in archives and Celebrate Archives! To help advertise those event SCAA is providing a downloadable poster blank for our members.

Once again SCAA has produced an update to the Archives Week Action Guide for 2018 to help members plan an event.

Download poster here (legal sized Word doc)

Archives Week 2018 Action Guide (pdf)

Archives Week grant "Thank you letter" outline (pdf)

Send questions to the Archives Advisor at

Those members who received Archives Week 2018 grants please remember after your event to send us:

  • photos or short articles.
  • if possible, attendance (how many and who?)
  • an example of your advertising efforts


Events for Archives Week 2018

Check out our Google map of events here!

Confirmed events as of January 29 - more information will be added as details and additional events across the province are confirmed.

Media release for the Province

Media release for Regina

Media release for Saskatoon



The Archives of Humboldt Museum and Gallery will be hosting an open house event on Thursday, February 8 from 1:30-4:30 of Archives Week. This will include a special photo exhibit being produced with the Ministerial Committee of Humboldt to create a display of contemporary faiths in Humboldt. This exhibit is a collaborative effort on the part of many of the religious groups in Humboldt. The public are invited to view this special exhibit during their Open House event , they will provide refreshments, including a celebratory archives cake and beverages.

La Ronge

The Northern Saskatchewan Archives invites you to an Open House on Wednesday February 7 from 3pm to 6 pm at Pahkisimon Nuye?áh Library System in Air Ronge.

Featuring New Displays:

  • John Finch, Renowned Aircraft Rescuer: Air engineer in northern Saskatchewan in the 1950s and 60s, he became well-known for recovering downed aircraft from all kinds of situations. (50 photos)
  • Rev. Harry Hives: Anglican Church Minister in La Ronge, 1929-38, he took photos of life in La Ronge and Stanley Mission 80 years ago. (36 photos)
  • Lois Dalby:60 Years of Northern Art and Photography: Her whimsical 1970s illustrations of local Cree folks alarmed at first seeing explorers and voyageurs, and the seasonal life of the Woodland Cree. (26)
  • James Winkel, Saskatchewan Researcher and Writer, presents a PowerPoint on the story of Saskatchewan Government Airways (SGA), 1947-65.History and Genealogy, Tours, and Free Refreshments!

More information: Graham Guest,


Lloydminster Regional Archives will be setting up a special exhibit using reproductions of photos and documents from their collections. This exhibit will be on display all week at Lloydminster's Legacy Centre


The Melfort & District Museum will hold a "Coffee & Conversation ~ Opening Reception of the Melfort Historical Portrait Gallery" on Wednesday, February 7, 2:00pm- 4:00pm. Following the completion of their archival project and exhibit - Melfort Historical Portrait Gallery, that was completed with an SCAA grant, the event of Coffee & Conversation Open House is a museum outreach event that brings attention to their archival role,  that will encourage people to come to the museum and contribute to the museum’s archives with stories of our featured pioneers. People are encouraged to come to listen the stories as well.

Moose Jaw

The Moose Jaw Public Library Archives are celebrating Archives Week 2018 with "A Knight in the Archives" on Thursday February 8, 2018 to commemorate the archival contributions of the late community historian and former Moose Jaw Public Library employee Leith Knight.

Leith began working for the library in the 1960s and was instrumental in setting up a functional archive. Her unrivalled passion for history lent itself to her newspaper columns on history such as the long-running Moose Jaw Times Herald column “Historically Speaking,” as well as her book “All the Moose...all the Jaw.” Leith passed away on June 27, 2013. Neither the community nor archive would have been the same without her hard work and dedication.

They will host an event in her honour at the library during Archives Week. It will showcase the contributions of Leith, as well as serve as an opportunity to exhibit the depth and variety of the material in their holdings.

North Battleford

The City of North Battleford Historic Archives, for their 10th annual presentation for Archives Week will host a display of a collection of photographs and textual records pertaining to the First Saskatchewan Provincial Winter Games that was held in North Battleford in 1974. This display include approximately 55 interactive display boards featuring local athletes, venues and sports.  As the 2018 Winter Games are being held in their Community in February, it is felt that this will gather much attention in bringing these historical records to the Community at this time.

They will be setting up the display and an information booth at the Battlefords and District Co-operatives Territorial Place Mall in North Battleford on Thursday, February 8 , 2018 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and then on Saturday, February 10, 2018 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  

This will be their 10th annual presentation for Archives Week in the community and are very excited to present this display to the public. They have also been requested by the Winter Games Committee to bring this display to the Opening of the Winter Games and VIP reception on February 18, 2018.


In partnership, City of Regina Archives; the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan; the University of Regina Archives & Special Collections, will present a two hour event "Spotlight on the Past: The Regina That Never Was: Un-built buildings and plans from Archives in Regina" that will feature talks on The Mawson Plan, the Great War Museum, and College Avenue Campus. The event begins at 7:00 PM on Wednesday February 7 at Bushwakker Brewpub 2206 Dewdney Ave. Free admission with refreshments available for purchase.

Speakers include

  • Dr. Alex MacDonald, Prof. of English at Campion College, University of Regina
  • Dr. Bill Brennan, Prof. Emeritus, University of Regina
  • James Youck, P3Architecture Partnership
  • Master of Ceremonies Frank Korvemaker


To kick off Archives week the SCAA will be participating with some of our members in the Heritage Festival of Saskatoon on February 4

In Saskatoon, a groupof archives that include the ProvincialArchives of Saskatchewan, the City of Saskatoon Archives, the University of Saskatchewan Archives and Special Collections, the Saskatoon Public Library - Local History and the Western DevelopmentMuseum - George Shepard Research Library will present an Archives Week Variety Show on Thursday February 8from 7 to 9PM. The event will be held at Saskatoon's Roxy Theater, 320 20th Street West.
Films and readings will feature the history of Saskatoon and Saskatchewan held in archives across the province.
Come discover Saskatchewan's fascinating past - both playful and profound.

St. Isidore de Bellevue

In celebrating Archives Week - Célébrons la Semaine des archives, Archives de Bellevue will present a display at Centre culturel Le Rendez-vous , Bellevue for the week February 5-9, 2018.

On Monday February 5 from 9:30am - 11:30am, they will hold an event called Tea & Treasures: Celebrating Archives and the Community - Thé Nouveaté: Célébrons les archives et la communauté Centre culturel Le Rendez-vous, Bellevue.

The Archives de Bellevue committee in cooperation with the Centre francophone BDS will display a collection of photos, printed material, films and news-clips that showcase the community of St. Isidore de Bellevue.


The Whitewood Tourism and Heritage Association will celebrate Archives Week 2018 by holding an open house in their Archives building from Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1 to 4 each day. They also plan to host several school classes.

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 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 (1881), is therefore a good date to start "Archives Week" in Saskatchewan.