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-in 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 and annual events are held in Regina, but other communities including Craik, Cut Knife, Humboldt, LaRonge, Lloydminster, Melfort, North Battleford, Prince Albert, St. Isidore de Bellevue, Shaunavon, Swift Current, Wolseley and many more across the province all hold events and recent feature (2021) has been the production of short YouTube videos to promote the SCAA membership and to "Celebrate Archives".

As part of the celebration, the SCAA grants institutional members, who succeed in their application, funds to support these events and ask them to send a "letter of thanks" example.pdf to our funder

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

  • February 5-11, 2023

  • February 4-10, 2024

Archives Week 2023 Events

SCAA's 18th annual Archives Week has been declared for the week of February 5-11. 2023!

Our members will once again bring Saskatchewan’s archives into the provincial spotlight.

As events are confirmed and as more information becomes available we will put update this Google map.

Google Map of events


Archives Week 2023 Proclamation

ARCHIVES – where memories are preserved and history is made!

We can once again be connected to the vast amount of history and heritage our province has to offer and bring Saskatchewan’s archives into the spotlight while encouraging everyone to remain safe and respect current health measures.

SCAA has planned a virtual event, whereby institutions and individuals have submitted short videos showcasing their successes and achievements of the past year; and also display the hard work and dedication of archivists in preserving the vibrant history of the province. These videos will be featured online each day during Archives Week. They include virtual tours, open houses and celebrations from members such as the Archives de Bellevue, Archives of Humboldt and District Museum & Gallery, City of North Battleford Historic Archives, Friends of the Lloydminster Regional Archives, Grand Coteau Heritage & Cultural Centre, Melfort & District Museum, Ukrainian Museum and Whitewood Tourism & Heritage Association.

We are proud that this event will have the capacity to reach potentially every region and community in Saskatchewan!

Archives Week 2023 Proclamation

Archives Week 2023 poster & Trading Cards

Humboldt

The Archives of Humboldt & District Museum & Gallery will be hosting an open house event on Saturday, February 11th from 1:30-4:00 pm and an exhibit that will be on display for the duration of Saskatchewan Archives Week. The exhibit theme will be the “Quill Plains Winter Games” and will include photos, posters and documents of the events of the games. Visitors will be able to view the photos and documents on display; and will be encouraged to help identify people, places and events on copies of the photos provided. They will also be encouraged to share their stories relating to the photos, documents and this year’s theme. Stop by the Museum to view the exhibit, watch a slideshow and eat Cake!

Lloydminster

Held in conjunction with Saskatchewan's Archives Week, the LMA is hosting a preservation workshop to provide registered participants the basics on how to properly store and preserve photos/negatives, documents and other media for generations to come.
Optional preservation kits are available for purchase.
Ages: 16+
Location: 4207 44 Street, Lloydminster, Saskatchewan
Cost: $20/participant
When: Wednesday, February 8, 1:30pm - 2:30pm.

Register online at lloydminster.ca/LMAprograms or give us a call at (780) 874-3720.

Melfort

Melfort & District Museum are celebrating Archives Week in Saskatchewan 2023 by hosting Coffee & Conversation – The History of Melfort Municipal Airport on  Wednesday, February 8, 2023, 3 pm – 4 pm             

The Melfort Airport has a long history dating about 100 years and with the many changes, including its name, there is renewed interest in this history. Currently there are many airplanes and hangars at the airport and the pilots as well as others in the public would welcome an animated discussion about the airport. We are planning a Coffee & Conversation Event to facilitate this opportunity.

We are compiling research and finding photos and documents in our archives to create a display. We have contacted resource people to participate in the discussion, led by our Museum Board member and local pilot, Doug Chisholm.

The event will be free and open to the public. Coffee and refreshments will be provided.

North Battleford

The City of North Battleford Historic Archives are excited to host their 15th Annual Display for Archives Week at the Discovery Co-op Mall from February 9-11. Their topic for this year is the "Fabulous Fifties."

They will also be holding an Archives Open House on Tuesday, February 7th from 12pm - 5pm. Come meet the Archivist and see our space!
 

Prince Albert

When we post historical pictures and stories to Facebook or Instagram the one comment we get is, “Love these old pictures and information. Keep posting!”
We wouldn’t be able to share the pictures, information or stories if it wasn’t for our excellent archives and volunteer archivists.

In honour of the Saskatchewan Council for Archives and Archivists 18th annual Archive Week., we will be offering free tours of the archives on Saturday, February 4th at 2:00 PM. The tours will be led by our very knowledgeable Fred Payton and Ken Guedo.

Shaunavon

The Grand Coteau Heritage & Cultural Centre in Shaunavon will be holding a couple of events during Archives Week, but their Gallery Exhibition will showcase items from their archives around the theme of “Cursive Writing” from Feb.7th to 10th 9am to 5pm.

COFFEE CHAT: Friday, February 3 - 10:00 a.m.
TOPIC: The Lost Art of Cursive Writing
Many of our childhood memories would not be complete without the mention of cursive writing practice sessions - but in today’s digital era, is cursive writing becoming a lost art?
Come and enjoy our Archives Week Gallery Exhibition showcasing items from our museum archives that feature cursive writing. You’re invited to bring along your own items to show, and share your stories, memories, and thoughts about the Lost Art of Cursive Writing.

Coffee, Goodies, and Great Conversation! Everyone Welcome!

A BEGINNERS GUIDE TO MODERN CALLIGRAPHY
Tuesday, February 7, 2023 -  6:30 p.m.
Cost: FREE
– An Archives Week & Shaunavon “Me Time” Event
At this relaxing calligraphy class - instructed by Tammy Willman, GCHCC Program Coordinator - you’ll learn about the key tools, materials, and skills needed to create beautiful hand lettering - then have time to practice the modern calligraphy style. Zero experience required.
All tools and supplies will be provided, just come out and enjoy some “Me Time”! Please note that Me Time events are geared towards adults ages 18+.
Enjoy music, coffee, and treats while you practice calligraphy!

Limited Spots Available: If you wish to attend, please register by calling 306-297-3882 or emailing programsgchcc@sasktel.net by 5:00 pm on Monday, February 6.

St. Isidore de Bellevue

Archives de Bellevue Inc. Celebrates Archives Week with a Display at Centre culturel Le Rendez Vous, Bellevue. Feb 5-11, 2023 and an Open House on Wednesday Feb. 8 featuring Tea and Treasures at 10 am and 3 pm. The display will feature the local community and include examples of the various archival media (documents, videos, photos, publications, etc). 

Ukrainian Museum of Canada (Saskatoon)

In celebration of Archives Week in Saskatchewan, the Ukrainian Museum of Canada will be holding an Open House on Friday, February 10th from 10am to 4:30pm.

Beyond our stunning collection of pysanky, textiles, artifacts, and art works, the Ukrainian Museum of Canada is home to an extensive library and archives – including a large collection of vintage Ukrainian Canadian music!

During Archives Week, you can enjoy our exhibitions along with music, as we’ll be spinning vinyl records from the collection all day. Bring a friend to enjoy some tunes, coffee, treats, and great conversation. Everyone is welcome!

Whitewood

The Whitewood Tourism and Heritage Association Inc. will celebrate Archives Week 2023 by holding an open house for the community and surrounding area. Over the past two years, the archives have been moved to a new and improved location.  Archives Week will include an open house for the viewing of the new area in conjunction with the display of numerous photo albums that were compiled as a pictorial history of events from Whitewood and area by previous committee members in 1980s. We want to enlist the members of the community in assisting us with identifying events and people and the sharing the stories that arose from these events. They will host two afternoon events - Tuesday and Thursday - February 7 and 9 - 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Special invitation will be extended to our local school students and teachers.

Blank poster for promotion of SCAA members events

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.