The SPRA accepts donations of records from governments, organizations, businesses, families, and individuals from the South Peace region. These records are important because they can provide insights into the lives of people and organizations in the region. Records from businesses document essential activities, decisions, legal obligations, and responsibilities.
Please consider donating your personal records or those of your family. If you own a business you can donate operational records you no longer need on a regular basis. Not only will your records help create a picture of life in the South Peace, they will also be preserved and accessible for future members of your family or organization. If you work for a local business or belong to a local organization, you can ask the organization to consider donating their records. However, we do need written permission from the Board or Executive in order to accept these records.
We accept a variety of records including correspondence, journals, diaries, scrapbooks, photographs, negatives, film, audio recordings, posters, pamphlets, certificates, maps, architectural drawings, financial records, minutes, policies and procedures, and ledgers. Our primary focus is on one-of-a-kind, unpublished material, although we do maintain a small reference library. SPRA does not accept artifacts or general interest publications.
The first step in the donation process is to contact us at SPRA. The archivist will ask you about the nature of the records you are interested in donating and arrange a time for you to deliver them to the archives. Once we have looked through the records, we will have you sign a gift agreement form. As part of this agreement, you transfer your legal ownership and copyright of the material to SPRA. During this meeting you will also have to opportunity to discuss any access restrictions you would like to impose on any of the records, and what time limit those restrictions will have. In general, the Archives is reluctant to accept records that are permanently restricted.
After the material is donated it will be appraised and processed. Unfortunately, we are not able to keep all of the material that has been donated to us. This material will either be returned to you as the donor, transferred to a more suitable institution, or securely destructed. The donor is able to choose which option they would like when they are filling out the gift agreement form.
After donation, records are processed to make them available for researchers. This does not happen immediately, as processing takes a significant amount of time. Your records may not be processed for several years. Most records are processed as a fonds. A fonds is the whole of the records, created, accumulated, and used by a person, family, government, or organization during the course of their activities or functions.
One step in processing is arrangement. As much as possible, an archivist tries to preserve the original order given to the records by its creator, although it is sometimes necessary to impose an order. Within fonds, records are divided into smaller groups called series, sub-series, files, and items. After a fonds is arranged, it is rehoused in acid-free files, envelopes, and boxes. This process ensures long term preservation of the records. Finally, the records are described. This process produces a finding aid, which provides a history of the records’ creator and a brief description the records in the fonds to give researchers a guide to find the information they need. The records themselves remain in our climate-stable storage room until researchers request them for viewing in our reading room.
Records may be accessed by anyone in our reading room. We may also make some records available online.
Our strong preference for donations are original records. Occasionally donors are unwilling to give us their original records and would prefer to loan us the records in order for us to create a digital copy. The original records would then be returned to the donor and the Archives would keep the digital copy. This process is called a loan for copy. We are only willing to accept loans for copy in rare circumstances. Please contact us if you would like to discuss this possibility.
Please note that we will not be accepting any loans for copy until after we have settled into our new space in 2023.