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Archives Backlog Completed!

Archives Backlog Completed!

Several decades worth of materials donated to the archives are now available in the public collection! This backlog and the rest of the collection are now secured and 'future-proofed' through proper storage and housing, and ongoing digital preservation. The collection is now easier to navigate and more accessible!

Archives Backlog Project

Archives Backlog Project

The Archives

The first thing to know is that the Archives can be thought of in four distinctive sections: the Research Room, office/work Spaces, and Collection Quarantine, and the "Vault". 

You are probably most familiar with the Research Room - this is the place where researchers come and browse our Family History Files, Subject Files, and our extensive Research Library of local materials. It's the public 'front' of the Archives. Then there's workspaces of course, where staff, volunteers, and the public have desks, large tables and counter space to work on. There's also the quarantine area, where we freeze and clean incoming items before they are added to the collection. 

You may not, however, have ever seen the back room of the Archives where we house all of the unpublished items in the archives collection: one-of-a-kind photographs, maps, diagrams, diaries, personal collections of documents, and so much more. We call it "The Vault". It's a pretty amazing place. You can access items in the vault on request if you're doing research. The Vault is also where we house the backlog of donated items that are awaiting processing as they are added to the collection. 

The Backlog

Like all archives, we have a backlog of donated materials that hasn't been added to our collection. We work on the backlog whenever we can, but all of the paperwork, adding items to our database, applying conservation methods, and properly housing the materials takes a lot of time. With limited staff and resources, it really adds up. Here's what our backlog looked like in the spring of 2016: 

The "Before" project photos: 

Oliver and District Heritage Society Receives Grant (August 2016)

We are pleased to announce that we received a grant from Library and Archives Canada to hire two archivists to deal with our backlog of donated archival materials. Since that time, they've been busy, busy, busy getting the Vault and the backlog into good order. 


It's been 5 months since the project started, see what we've been up to!

Solid work!

We've still got a ways to go, but we'll continue to post updates of our progress. Thanks for following!

Museum Gets a New Roof!

Museum Gets a New Roof!

A Brief History

The BC Provincial Police Station in Oliver was built in 1924 as Oliver emerged as a budding    municipality due to the "Ditch Project" under Premier John Oliver. It was built in the dutch-colonial style with cedar shake siding and roof. 

The Museum in the summer of 2016. The cedar shake roof is showing troubling signs of lifting, splitting, and rot. 

The Museum in the summer of 2016. The cedar shake roof is showing troubling signs of lifting, splitting, and rot. 

The "Oliver Lockup" as it was known at the time, was home to the BC Provincial Police officers and their families, with the station and prison cells on the ground floor and living quarters on the second floor. In 1951 it was used by the RCMP, who occupied the building until 1966 when it became a long term accommodation rental under the BC Building Corporation. 

In 1980, the Province of BC gifted the building to the Town of Oliver to house a Museum. That same year, the building achieved heritage designation status and was protected under bylaw no. 376 and included as part of the Regional District register of heritage buildings. 

Since that time, the building has housed the Oliver and District Heritage Society. The first floor of the Museum is exhibit space, while the second floor houses the permanent collection and offices. 

Identifying Priorities

The Museum was well-maintained throughout its lifetime, but the aging roof started to become a concern in 2014 when the cedar shakes were showing signs of significant wear and damage. At nearly 35 years old, the roof was deemed a priority for replacement. 

A generous donation from the late Carolyn Cope provided the bulk of the costs associated with the roof restoration itself, and the remainder of the funding was obtained through a grant from Heritage BC. The Society provided staff and volunteer efforts, plus additional revenue from its operating budget to cover expenses associated with securing the collection during the project. 

Raising the Roof

Work on the roof commenced on October 11, 2016. 

Beginning at the rear of the building, old shingles were removed and tossed in a waste disposal bin donated by EZ bins, who wanted to contribute to the project. The new shakes went up quite slowly, as weather permitted. October turned out to be a rainy month and work was conducted sporadically when the sun shone. 

While the sheathing was exposed, we took the opportunity to have fiberglass insulation blown in. This work was partially completed several yeas ago, but due to the compartmentalized construction of the attic, it was not completed because some areas were inaccessible. We lifted parts of the sheathing which allowed us access to those areas previously inaccessible, and completed the insulation process. 

Thanks to Heritage BC and the generosity of the community, we completed the project in time for the first snowfall and are now enjoying a safer, better-insulated Museum.