Monday, 10 August 2009

Museum Exhibit Musings -- Archives Foray

I need to start looking at what’s in the Archives collections. I have a pretty good idea from past research about photographs related to 1906-1913 so I thought I would focus on manuscripts. What a treasure trove!

There’s the expected. A Dominion Lands Homestead Receipt issued to James Bowen in 1906. There would have been a lot of these given out during the land rushes.

The unexpected but really shouldn’t be surprised knowing the time period. There’s a character reference issued to Nekolai Kuszniruk by the municipal authorities of Rarancze that states he led an upstanding life in the community and has an unblemished reputation. Mr. Kuszniruk required this as part of his application to come to Canada. Did all immigrants need such documentation or only those from certain countries? This may be useful to tell about ethnic diversity during this time period.

The everyday – calendars, pamphlets promoting settlement in southern Alberta, maps, Christmas cards, a resignation letter, and baseball ribbons.

Some that I can definitely see in the exhibit including a 1908 driver’s license for C.B. Bowman – would have been one of the first licenses in Lethbridge.

Some that were buried and found – including all of the objects that were placed inside the cornerstone of Central School in 1908 and then rediscovered when the building was demolished in 1971.

Things that instantly remind me how much times have changed, such as a calling card for Miss Florence Aylward.

Things that instantly remind me how very much I'm glad things have changed. Such as a bound booklet of City of Lethbridge Bylaw no. 84 . This was the bylaw respecting the sanitary conditions of Lethbridge and the regulation of plumbing. As one of the jobs available for city employees at the time was to empty nightsoil from the privies and scavenge dead animals from the coulees, thank heavens for indoor plumbing.

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