Archives remain a hub of County history

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

What do you think of when you hear the word “Archives?”

Do you envision a dusty, old,pile of boxes? Maybe even a dank basement?  The County of Prince Edward Archives might surprise you.

Krista Richardson, Archivist, is passionate about not only preserving Prince Edward County, but also making it feel relevant to people today.

“Prince Edward County’s history is packed with interesting characters, surprising stories, and even a few mysteries,” she explains. One way the Archives brings history to life is through participation in local festivals and events. The Archives is a founding member of the Ameliasburgh Heritage Hub and other community-led initiatives celebrating Prince Edward County history. This year, The Prince Edward Historical Society and the County of Prince Edward Public Library and Archives successfully participated in Flashback February and organized two events with the Prince Edward County Museums.

One featured multimedia storyteller and public folklorist Suzanne Pasternak, who put together a stunning multimedia performance featuring the music from her folk opera, Minerva, woven with dramatic readings of her recently published book of the same name.

The second presentation featured Nancy Woods, long-time volunteer at Macaulay Heritage Park, who used the historic hearth at Macaulay House to demonstrate 19th century cooking methods – specifically those using cast iron cookware.

The Archives and the Prince Edward Historical Society work closely together – “We couldn’t do everything we do without their ongoing support,” says Krista.

Over the next four months, members of the Historical Society will be speaking on different topics of interest to residents on the local radio station, 99.3 County FM. Tune in on April 26 at 12:35 to hear Krista Richardson’s description of rum running in Prince Edward County – one of the more colourful elements of Prince Edward County history. Preserving your personal history is also important and the Archives can help you safeguard your own history. Digitize your own slides, negatives, or photos at the Archives, for a donation.  This can help you share your family memories with relatives all over the world (and can help prevent arguments about who inherits Great-Great- Grandma’s photo albums!).

Krista can help you future-proof your virtual files to ensure maximum access for future generations. The Archives are located at the Wellington Branch Library.

If you are interested in learning more about Prince Edward County’s history, contact Krista at (613) 399-2023 to book your appointment.  “One of the best parts of working in the Archives is that no two days are the same,” explains Krista.

-Liz Zylstra