County Archives celebrates Archive Awareness Week century-old municipal records assessed as part of transfer

Cobourg, ON—April 1, 2015 – Sunday April 5th marks the first day of Archives Awareness Week in Ontario. Archivists throughout the province will host special events promoting archive collections, research, preservation and the profession.

In conjunction with provincial celebrations, Northumberland County records manager and archivist Emily Cartlidge and her team have begun a full assessment of the former Alnwick Township historic records. This work will involve exploring the contents of the Township vault, which contains 175-year old municipal records. Some of the historic materials expected to be uncovered include tax assessment and collector rolls, birth, marriage and death registers, bylaws and financial statements some dating as far back as the 1840s.

“The records of the day-to day business of a municipality are vital to preserving and protecting the history and culture of a community,” said Ms. Cartlidge. “This preservation work is crucial in assisting researchers to uncover the history of their ancestors and properties. More broadly, this works gives insight into the past and helps to prepare for the future in the Township of Alnwick/Haldimand.”

The assessment of these records is in preparation for the transfer of the Alnwick archives to the County Archives later this year. All items deemed important for preservation will be cleaned, repaired if needed, inventoried and packaged in acid-free storage containers to help with preservation and ongoing public access. This work represents the second phase to an agreement between Alnwick/ Haldimand Township and the County that was finalized in 2013. Northumberland County Archives will provide the storage, research assistance, public access and educational programming relating to the pieces transferred for preservation.

The Northumberland County Archives program aims to be a comprehensive resource for archival records documenting economic, political, geographic and social development of the historic, present and future of this region. The Town of Cobourg is a proud supporter and valued partner of this mission and provides the space for storing the collection and public access in a climate-controlled, secure area of the C, Gordon King Centre. In 2014, 896 people accessed County archival services despite the facility itself being closed form January to May due to the flood at the C. Gordon King Centre.

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