The Fernie Museum will make its archival collections accessible to the public on Mar. 24 through two initiatives. The Museum has been collecting objects and photographs along with business, community and family records from the Elk Valley since 1964. The Museum has over 10,000 photographs and additional records in its collection that originate from the 1880s and span to the 1990s and are from the communities between Elko and the Crowsnest Pass.
The Museum will have an online archive initiative and a Community Archives Centre open to the public.
The Archives Online has been made possible by grants from the Columbia Basin Trust and Columbia-Kootenay Cultural Alliance. The grants have enabled the Museum to digitize over 1,200 images of the 10,000 and post them on the website Ferniemuseum.com. Newly digitized images will be uploaded weekly to the online database.
The Community Archives Centre will house the archives collection and feature a reference room that enables the public to access the Museum’s Archives. The room will be available every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This collection will feature more than photos and videos, including oral histories via audio recordings, census and community directories, business records, board of trade records and family records.
Previous to the grants, the Museum was not able to amalgamate its archival collections. Now they are more capable of processing inventory, organizing, describing and cataloguing its archives by using a new software program.