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Opportunities Abound to Explore Archives This Week

A group of boys and girls curl an exciting “jam-can” ’spiel on a clearing in a snow covered backyard, courtesy of Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan.
A group of boys and girls curl an exciting "jam-can" 'spiel on a clearing in a snow-covered backyard.
Photo courtesy of Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan.

The past is alive, especially if you ask an archivist. Are you looking to experience history in different ways, connect with your family history, find out details about your hometown, engage young children in historical events, or even see how people have enjoyed sports during a Saskatchewan winter? Archives around the province offer these opportunities each and every day, and the people who preserve and cherish this history are celebrating Archives Week starting February 7, 2021.

As part of these celebrations, the Saskatchewan Council for Archives and Archivists (SCAA) has planned a virtual event called Spotlight on the Past, with archives, archivists and volunteers across Saskatchewan offering videos, presentations and exhibits for everyone to enjoy. There are also in-person exhibits happening at some locations. For more information, visit the SCAA website.

Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan has a virtual exhibit titled Winter Sports in Saskatchewan, which is also available for viewing in-person at the new Archives Gallery in Regina.

"While searching for photos of winter sport, I was excited to find women's hockey teams in the Provincial Archives' Collection," archivist Teresa Redlick with the project said. "The earliest of these photographs dates from 1896! Many people may be surprised to find out how long women have been playing organized hockey."

Regina’s First Ladies Hockey Team, 1896
Regina's First Ladies Hockey Team, 1896

Jeremy Mohr, manager of Reference and Outreach Services, added, "I was really struck by the Jam Can Curling photograph we uncovered at the Provincial Archives. It really captures the ingenuity and fun-loving spirit of the people of our province. It couldn’t help but bring a smile to my face."

The week-long celebration also includes an author talk by Crista Bradley, an archivist at the University of Regina. She will be speaking about her new book, If These Places Could Talk: Snapshots of Saskatchewan. The book features historic and contemporary images of Saskatchewan places drawn from museums and libraries around the province.

"There are millions of photographs, documents, recordings and other materials in archives in Saskatchewan," Bradley said, "I will talk about the work of choosing images from these collections with an eye to engaging children with primary sources and diverse stories."

You can also check out the Moose Jaw Public Library Archives online. Archivists are hosting a virtual session on February 11 with local history buffs and challenging them to identify people and places from the archival photo collection. Memory and story sharing is also welcome.

On February 10, the Office of the Treaty Commissioner’s Library and Archives is holding its grand opening during the week with a virtual pipe ceremony, drum song and a tour of its collection.

The City of North Battleford Historic Archives is excited to host their 13th annual presentation for Archives Week. They will display a collection of photographs and textual records entitled Look Back at the 1930s. This is a continuation of the decades of growth from previous years pertaining to the development of North Battleford. This display will include large visual boards featuring transportation, businesses, schools and lifestyles in North Battleford in the 1930s. They will be setting up the display and information booth at the Battlefords and District Co-operatives Territorial Place Mall in North Battleford starting February 11.

There is much more awaiting you. Be sure to check out the SCAA YouTube Channel from February 8 to 12. For more information on Archives Week events around the province, check out the SCAA website as well as your local archives.  

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