Community Forest gives Archives Grant

Trent Ernst, Editor

The Tumbler Ridge Archives are $3500 richer due to a grant from the Tumbler Ridge Community Forest.

Head archivist Crys White says the grant was much needed. “This will keep me in supplies for the next two years,” she says.

The money will be used to pick up a new computer, as well as shelving, cabinets, and general supplies like paper and encapsulation material. “It all needs to be archival so it doesn’t deteriorate,” says White. “There’s all kinds of stuff that you need. I’ve already placed an order for close to $2000. Even simple things like paper clips. You can’t use metal in an archive, they need to be plastic. You can’t have anything made out of wood. All the photos have to be stored in specific archival folders and envelopes and any printing has to be on archival paper.”

White says she’s planning to get a TR Archives stamp made so she can stamp some of the books, as well as a backup drive for the computer.

Even with the grant, White says there’s still a lot more that could be done. White has done a week-long course at the Archives Institute in Alberta, and says it’s astounding the amount of stuff that needs to be considered for setting up archives. “I have had to buy a vacuum, bug traps so we can see if there are any bugs getting in and eating the paper, dusting stuff. We should install a proper humidity and ventilation system. We need to get a map case for all the maps, but those things are expensive. Two of them are $600.”

White has only just started to make a dent in the archives. “They came to me in shoe boxes and garbage bags,” she says. “They’ve tried over the years to archive but stuff has gone missing in all the moving around.”

The archives were held at the old PRPRC (now Ace Hardware), then moved to the library, then to town hall before moving into the new museum. She is hopeful that she will have everything sorted out in about two years.

After that, she says, the plan is to start digitizing the archives, but for now, she’s just slogging through all the stuff. “I haven’t even got to the interesting stuff yet,” she says. “I have to go through and number everything. We have a thousand photos of Quintette and have had to number them all. Each one of those photos is in an envelope. It all costs money.”