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 2-8, 2020
  • February  7-13, 2021
  • February 6-12, 2022

2020 Events

SCAA members are urged to celebrate the 15th annual Archives Week. The SCAA and communities across Saskatchewan will be celebrating Archives Week in the province on February  2-8, 2020. Events will once again bring Saskatchewan’s archives into the provincial spotlight. These events by SCAA members may include Celebrity 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!.

This year, along with our postcards and bookmarks the SCAA has again put together an "Archives Week Action Guide" with tips on planning events, undertaking local outreach activities that engage the local media, and encouraging individual archives and archivists to make the most of this time of celebration — their way.

2019 Events


One of the SCAA's newest members, the Craik Oral History will be promoting the archives in the community by holding an Open House on Friday February 8, 2019. Their open house will include games, quizzes of their local history with prizes, they will also provide refreshments and have a door-prize.


The Archives of Humboldt & District Museum & Gallery will be hosting an open house event on Thursday, February 7 from 1:30-4:30 of Archives Week. This will include a special photo exhibit, that will be on display through out Archives Week. This exhibit is an effort to have the public contribute to the identity of people, events and places in Humboldt and area. 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 Tuesday February 5 from 3pm to 6:30 pm at Pahkisimon Nuye?áh Library System in Air Ronge.

Featuring New Displays:

  • Enid Broome: Nurse to the North 1940s-50s: Photos from her time as nurse for Pinehouse, La Ronge and then all the settlements from Montreal Lake up to Wollaston.
  • Father Megret: Oblate Priest of the Far North: Photos of the life of the Dene people taken during his 50 years of service across the north from La Loche to Wollaston Lake.
  • Rev. Harry Hives Collection, Season Two: Another 24 newly-digitized marvelous photographs of La Ronge and Stanley Mission 80 years ago.
  • La Ronge Then and Now: Buildings photographed in olden times and what you will find there today.

John Irving' s scale models give unique insight into early Lac La Ronge history.

Sid Robinson's PowerPoint at 5:15 pm presents stories of the fur trade days.

Tours of the Archives and Free Refreshments!

More information: Graham Guest,


The Melfort & District Museum will hold a "Coffee & Conversation ~History of Curling in Melfort and area" on Thursday, February 7, at 3 pm at the Melfort Curling Club. Coffee & Conversation 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.

North Battleford

The City of North Battleford Historic Archives, for their 11th annual presentation for Archives Week will host a display of a collection of photographs and textual records pertaining to the development of North Battleford through-out the decades. This display include approximately 55 interactive display boards featuring transportation, hospitals, businesses, schools, lifestyle, entertainment and sports. 

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 7 , 2019 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and then on Saturday, February 9, 2019 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  

This will be their 11th annual presentation for Archives Week presentation and it gives them an opportunity to thank all who have already contributed and an opportunity to invite citizens of North Battleford to donate material to the Archives.  Most importantly, their presentation informs the public of the archives and their role in preserving historical documents and photographs.


In partnership, City of Regina Archives; the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan; the University of Regina Archives & Special Collections, will present "New to Town: Newcomer Reflections Then & Now" Guest Speakers Reflect on Their Transitions to Life in Saskatchewan with reading on the Settler Experience, Regina College and other stories. The event begins at 7:00 PM on Wednesday February 6 at Bushwakker Brewpub 2206 Dewdney Ave.

Free admission with refreshments available for purchase



In conjunction with Archives Week, the University of Regina Library is pleased to make available an online archival copy of the Saskatchewan Encyclopedia.

As a service to researchers and as an important historical record of a period of time in Saskatchewan research and publishing, the University of Regina Library, Archives and Special Collections Unit has republished an online archival version of the Encyclopedia. The materials are presented as they were when published. While the Encyclopedia may contain terms, concepts, and interpretations that have evolved since original publication, this is a historical document that reflects the times in which it was created.

Available through oURspace, The Saskatchewan Encyclopedia may be found at:

The Saskatchewan Encyclopedia was originally published as a 1,072 page volume, with a digital version created to mark the centennial of the province in 2005. Both the volume and digital version were coordinated by The Canadian Plains Research Center (CPRC), now the University of Regina Press, with the online version consisting of 2,300 entries that represented the 21 in-depth essays found in the printed hardcover Encyclopedia.

For more information contact:  Mark Vajcner, University Archivist at 305-585-5314


To kick off Archives Week the SCAA will be participating with some of our members in the Heritage Festival of Saskatoon on Sunday February 3

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, the Western DevelopmentMuseum - George Shepard Research Library and joining them this year will be the Saskatchewan Indigenous Cultural Centre. They will all be presenting an Archives Week Variety Show on Thursday February 7from 7pm 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.

New this year, a preview of the Variety Show will be held Tuesday February 5 at 7pm, held at the 9 Mile Legacy Brewing Company, 229 20th St.W.


Grand Coteau Heritage & Cultural Centre will be celebrating Archives Week 2019 by presenting a slide show of photographs from their archive.  They also will be screening the short film "Home Movies" that was filmed in Shaunavon in 1988  to help celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the town. Both take place on Sunday February 3, at 2pm in the Grand Coteau Centre Gallery. The film featuring interviews with youth and seniors of the time and scenes from the Shaunavon High School 1988 Graduation, will be shown at 2:30pm. Coffee & Goodies will be served and Everyone is Welcome! Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.

St. Isidore de Bellevue

In celebrating Archives Week - Célébrons la Semaine des archives, Archives de Bellevue will present a display of archival photos, documents and resource material at Centre culturel Le Rendez-vous , Bellevue for the week February 4-9, 2019 from 9am to 5pm.

On Monday February 4 from 9:30am - 11:30am, they will hold a Tea & Treasures Event/ Thé Nouveauté: Archives: at Your Fingertips / Les archives: Un clic et on est là at the Centre culturel Le Rendez-vous, Bellevue.


The Whitewood Tourism and Heritage Association will celebrate Archives Week 2019 by holding an open house in their Archives building on three afternoons this year during the week, check back for specific times. They also plan to host several school classes from Whitewood School as they prepare for history fairs, social studies assignments and projects.

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 (1882), is therefore a good date to start "Archives Week" in Saskatchewan.