Thursday, May 31, 2012

Elimination of the National Archival Development Program

On April 30, 2012, Library and Archives Canada announced the elimination of the National Archival Development Program (NADP) which has collapsed the Canadian Council of Archives (CCA).  NADP is a grant program which assists archival institutions across Canada to make archives accessible to the public, to digitize archival collections, to train and employ young professionals, to increase representation of underrepresented groups in holdings and to assist with preservation of archives.
The CCA was founded in 1985 and is unique in that it works with individual Provincial and Territorial councils of archives to identify common needs and long-term goals, then presents the results in a single, unified voice. This way, a collective harmonization of efforts reduces the need to repeat processes that have already been developed. The elimination of NADP is a detriment to archival institutions across Canada.

The Musée Héritage Museum archives’ goal is to acquire, preserve and make archival holdings available to the public.  Our archives hold the documentary heritage of St. Albert and are to be shared with anyone interested in St. Albert’s history.  Without NADP in St. Albert, public access to our archival holdings will be more difficult as much of this work has been done through the federal grant.  In the past, NADP funding has helped us in many areas, including:

-       Preservation Management: Preservation involves a variety of techniques to ensure our archives last for as long as possible so future generations can use them.  In 2005, we had a preservation assessment done by an archives conservation expert. This report let us know what we are doing well and what needs improvement with regards to preservation. 
-       Archival Digitization Project:  For this project in 2006, we digitized photographs in the holdings relating to Métis history in order to represent communities that are currently underrepresented in archives.  These photographs were placed online on the Archives Society of Alberta’s database.
-       Magnetic Media Project: In 2008 we ordered supplies in order to preserve our oral histories.
-       Photographs of Aboriginal Life in the early 20th Century: In 2009 we described, digitized, preserved and placed online photographs of residential schools from Alberta and Saskatchewan.  The project involved aboriginal communities as they helped us identify the content of the photographs.  We digitized negatives and made photographic prints which were returned to their respective communities.  We established relationships with various First Nations communities who were saddened to recall their sufferings at residential schools yet elated to receive photographs of their families.  These photographs can currently be viewed on the Archives Society of Alberta’s database.
-       St. Albert Historical Society Photography Project: In 2011, we processed over 1000 photographs and digitized over 800.  The photographs cover a large range of St. Albert’s history.  The project allowed us to make photographs available online via the Archives Society of Alberta’s database.

From the Photographs of Aboriginal Life in the early 20th Century project - Children in front of Le Goff, Cold Lake school, Alberta, 1920s - 1930s. 
From St. Albert Historical Society Photography Project - George Hodgson family, [187- - 1900].

To learn more about how NADP has supported archival institutions across Canada and how you can help, see

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Night at the Museum, 2012

Night at the Museum Event

On May 12, 2012 students from Leo Nickerson Elementary School set up their Heritage Fair projects at the Musée Héritage Museum and families, friends and the public were invited to step into the past and meet some fascinating people!  Take a look...........

 JACE was Jamie McLennan,  Canadian professional hockey goaltender who played for the New York Islanders and Calgary Flames.
Nellie McClung (KALEY) was born in 1873.  In 1927, she along with four other women: Henrietta Muir Edwardss, Emily Murphy, Louise McKinney, and Irene Parlby came to be known as "The Famous Five" ) and together they launched the "Persons Case," contending that women could be "qualified persons" eligible to sit in the Canadian Senate.

Henrietta Muir Edwards (DANIKA) who was born in 1849 is recognized as a Canadian women's rights activist and reformer.  She is one of the "Famous Five" who established that women were, indeed, persons and therefore entitled to sit in the Senate of Canada.

Lois Hole (ISABELLE) was a St. Albert resident who served her community and  the Province of Alberta in many different ways.  As a local business owner, educator and author as well as Chancellor of the University of Alberta and as the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta.

MADELINE was Agnes McPhail the first Canadian woman elected as a Member of Parliament in 1921 which was the first federal election in Canada in which women had the right to vote.  
CLAUDIA shared the story of the Dionne Quintuplets -- Five sisters born in Ontario in 1934.  The Dionne girls were born two months premature and all five survived. After four months with their family, they were made wards of the King for nine years under the Dionne Quintuplets' Guardianship Act, 1935. Many, including the government  profited by making them a significant tourist attraction in Ontario. 

Alexander Graham Bell (JORDYN) inventor of the telephone and metal detector (as well as a host of other inventions).   Bell spent time living and working in Canada and his family moved back and forth between the United States and Canada throughout his life.  He was buried on a private estate on Cape Breton Island in Canada.

RILEY as Chad Kroeger a songwriter and  the lead singer for the Canadian band Nickelback.  He was born in Hanna, Alberta in 1974.

                 SASHA portrayed a local hockey player, Megan Mikkelson, who played on the 2010 Gold Medal Women's Olympic Hockey Team.