Jeff Green | May 18, 2006
Feature Article - May 11, 2006
Back toHomeFeature Article - May 11, 2006
When Bethany Armstrong was in the process of re-publishing her father Charlie’s history of the Clarendon and Miller townships, “Away Back in Clarendon and Miller”, the publisher asked for a photograph for the book. Charles Armstrong had turned the rights for his book over to the township, so Bethany naturally went to them and asked for a photo from their archives.
“Archives?” was the reply, “Well …. we don’t have archives.” And so Bethany conceived the idea of creating the first community archives, to be funded by sales from her father’s book. The grand opening was held on Tuesday May 9 at the Plevna Library, where the collection is housed. The space is small, a humble cupboard, but Mayor Ron Maguire said, “it may be a small beginning, but it’s the start of a big dream. It’s a step forward in the maturity of North Frontenac.”
Marg Axford of the Cloyne & District Historical Society has been very much involved in the project, and said at the opening, “Every community needs to keep its stories. If not, when the children and grandchildren come along there won’t be any stories.”
The collection is print-based and many people have contributed. Bethany Armstrong says there is still lots of space; however, there is not enough room for artifacts. Marg Axford said that the Cloyne Museum would help store artifacts until the day when there might be a museum in Plevna. Then, she said, “I’ll make sure the artifacts are returned where they belong.”
Bethany Armstrong has also just finished compiling a new book by her uncle Andrew Armstrong, which supplements her father’s book. Funds from the sales will also go to the archives.
Bethany encouraged people to consider the things they find while cleaning houses and sheds as having historical value. She showed a receipt book she had found while cleaning out a shed, and in it was a record of a minister’s stipend for $2, dated January 1, 07.
A sheet was passed out to the audience that was made up by KFPL Rural Librarian Janice Coles, detailing the sorts of things people might consider donating to the archives. These include: local family histories; personal diaries, journals and letters; school yearbooks; newspaper clippings; records of local organizations; political campaign brochures; newsletters.
While the library cannot offer tax receipts for donations of items, they can for any monetary contributions.