28 May 2011

HCHS Launches "Unlock the Archives" Capital Campaign

To the ringing tones of the Society's (and Belleville's) town crier the Society launched its "Unlock the Archives" fund-raising drive at its campaign headquarters located at 208 Front Street in Belleville.  Over seventy members, guests and officials were present to hear about the progress and remaining steps required to refurbish and equip the new community archives on Church Street in Belleville.

The Community Archives is a joint project between the County of Hastings, the City of Belleville and the Hastings County Historical Society.  In addition to the Society's collection of pictures, negatives, deeds, letters and other documents (dating back to the early 1800's) the archives will house important collections from the County and City.

In the years since the Society's founding  in 1957, the need for a permanent home for the collected material has grown with the size of the Society's collection which is now believed to include over 10,000 documents, 50,000 pictures and a million photographic negatives.

The Honoury Chair of the fund-raising campaign, the well known author Peter C. Newman, spoke of the importance of archival records in preserving Canada's history for future generations. He congratulated the three parties on their progress in hiring an archivist and securing a building for the collections.

Peter presented symbolic "Unlock the Archives" keys to partners from each of the three organizations and officially launched the campaign to refurbish and equip the Church Street building.

A section of pictures taken at the event may be viewed here.

More information about the capital campaign can be viewed here.

Peter will also be hosting an "evening with Peter C. Newman" at the Belleville Club on Thursday the 9th of June.  Tickets to the event (which starts at 7:30) are available at a cost of $50 from Greenley's Bookstore.

Luke Hendry from the Belleville Intelligencer takes a shot of (from left to right) Neil Ellis (representing the City of Belleville), Peter C. Newman, Orland French (representing the Society) and Rick Phillips (representing the County of Hastings) posing with their keys. Luke's article in the Belleville Intelligencer may be seen here.

An article written by Jennifer Bowman from Loyalist College and published in the Qnetnews can be viewed here.

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