SK ARCHIVES - losing 4 locations . . . . !

SK ARCHIVES - losing 4 locations . . . . !

Postby Oscar » Sat Dec 08, 2018 5:02 pm

Shuttering of provincial archive locations means 'fewer of our stories being told'

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Archives are like a laboratory where patrons work with primary sources to unlock and decipher the past. The closure of the Saskatoon branch of the PAS will mean that the public will have less direct access to these historical records.

Sask. archives being amalgamated under one roof in Regina

Bill Waiser · for CBC News · Posted: Dec 06, 2018 11:00 AM CT | Last Updated: December 6

(PHOTO: Archivists Evelyn Eager and Douglas Bocking looking at homestead records in the Saskatchewan Archives’ reading room in Saskatoon, circa 1960. (Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan/PAS Photo S-B6511 )

Archives are a unique resource, vital to understanding our society and ourselves.

With the closure of the Saskatoon location of the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan (PAS) at the University of Saskatchewan, students from various disciplines will no longer have the opportunity to use these primary materials on campus as part of their training, while faculty research will be severely inconvenienced.

The general public will also be discouraged from investigating their family history.

There will be less research being done and fewer of our stories being told.

That's the real cost here.

It could not have been more to the point.

On November 22, 2018, a Saskatchewan government order-in-council, OC 574/2018, designated Regina "as the location of office for the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan."

The possible closure of the Saskatoon PAS office had been talked about for the past few years, but the speed with which it was finally enacted was unexpected — certainly a surprise.

The Ministry of Advanced Education had recently advised the U of S that the removal of the Saskatoon archives office, housed in the Murray Building, was being seriously contemplated, but the move was not considered imminent.

On November 23, the day after the cabinet order, the university was informed that all archival operations in the province were being consolidated in Regina and that the Saskatoon branch would close effective December 21.

This decision will effectively end a seven-decade relationship between the University of Saskatchewan and the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan.

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Sask. provincial archives closing 4 locations, centralizing at Regina site

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Saskatoon office set to close December 21, 2018

Cory Coleman · CBC News · Posted: Nov 30, 2018 2:15 PM CT | Last Updated: November 30

Saskatchewan's Provincial Archives are centralizing all operations into one location in Regina. (iStock)

For the first time since the mid 1900s, the University of Saskatchewan's campus won't have a provincial archive.

The Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan recently announced they are closing four locations and centralizing everything at one Regina site.

Currently, Saskatoon and Regina each have an office that's open to public with another three locations in Regina used for archival storage and administrative purposes.

"A single location presents an excellent opportunity to provide better protection for our legacy records, as well as increasing our storage capacity," Linda McIntyre, a provincial archivist, told CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning.

She said the move will help make their services more efficient and reduce lease costs by more than $500,000 by 2021.

McIntyre also said they are working on digitizing more records so people outside of Regina have access to the records.

It's just very disappointing

Charles Smith, a political science professor at the U of S, said having online records won't replace all of the Saskatoon location's services.

"The archives play a vital role of protecting the documented heritage of our province, and it's not just government. It's personal histories, private histories, public records and private records that would have been donated," Smith said.

"It's really vital to have access to those things and it's just very disappointing that it's now being cut to researchers at the University of Saskatchewan, but to the general public as well."

Smith said he's currently using the archives for a research project and may now have to travel to Regina on a weekly basis.

"Access to archivists are one of those most important things that archives provide because they help navigate what is an incredibly difficult process to find the records your looking for," he said.

"That will be harder to do online and it's harder to do if you can't come in person."

The Saskatoon location is set to close December 21, with the consolidated Regina office opening in August 2019.
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