Archives continue to serve community

Picton Branch of the Prince Edward County Public Library. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette Staff)

“Proud to hold history in our hands” is the motto for the Prince Edward County Archives, and it underscores everything they do.

Home to many of Prince Edward County’s most important historic records including land abstracts, wills, documents relating to the history of homes in the area and more, the Archives is a haven for researchers. Although due to the current provincial shutdown, they are unable to welcome you into the building, the staff at the Archives are still available to serve you and will conduct research on your behalf and send you copies of relevant documents as they can.

On January 21, Archivists Krista Richardson and Molly McGowan presented the 2019-20 report for the County of Prince Edward Archives at the AGM of the Prince Edward County Historical Society. 2020 marked an important anniversary for the Archives. It was the ten year anniversary of the Archives moving to it’s current location at the Wellington Branch of the County of Prince Edward Public Library. Previously operated by Historical Society volunteers at the old jail in Picton, the move meant that the irreplaceable records of the Archives were able to be stored in a climate controlled, safe environment.

At this time the Archives came under the auspices of the library and a full-time Archivist was hired. Over the last decade, the Archives has maintained a close relationship with the Prince Edward County Historical Society through special projects, events celebrating Prince Edward County’s history, and outreach. Through the Archives, the Historical Society’s books and Downes Prints are available for sale, and copies of these books are also available for sale at the Bloomfield Booktique at the Bloomfield Branch Library, which attracts locals and tourists alike.

By advocating for the Archives, the Historical Society supports and works within its Mission Statement of, “stimulating and encourage interest within the community in the study of history and heritage of Prince Edward County, encourage and foster awareness in children and youth through education, preserving existing documents and collaborating with related organizations.”

Through this partnership, the Library & Archives and Historical Society have been able to serve researchers, assist students and not only make history available but come alive. A highlight of 2020 for the Archives was the purchase of a new microfilm scanner. This was funded by patron donations and through the sales of replica Tremaine maps. These large maps are printed on canvas and are great for researchers and home decorators alike!

For more about the maps, or to embark upon a research quest of your own, contact Krista by phone (613) 399-2023 or by email krichardson@peclibrary.org.

-Liz Zylstra