The Lloydminster Regional Archives (LRA) has a new home.
On July 8, approximately 200 boxes full of documents tracing the history of the Lloydminster area were relocated from the back corner of the Lloydminster Public Library to the Berthold Von Imhoff Art Gallery at the Lloydminster Cultural and Science Centre (LCSC).
“It’s a great surprise to us to see how many boxes it takes to actually contain our collection,” LRA president Don Duncan said. “We have well over 20,000 photographs in our collection and we have several linear metres of textual material and we also have an extensive collection of audio tapes, DVDs, that contain the electronic part of our collection as well. So it’s a major undertaking.”
The move was planned months ago, with Duncan announcing that it was officially “a done deal” at the LRA annual general meeting in April.
A small group of volunteers helped pack, seal and label boxes before hauling them up a freight elevator and into waiting pickup trucks and a trailer. Duncan says over the past few weeks workers have been installing shelves and modifying the LCSC space to accommodate the archives.
“The Imhoff Gallery has been subdivided now, a part of which will remain accessible to the public to see the Imhoff paintings,” Duncan said. “Part of the gallery space is now purposed for the archives’ use and so that renovation has been accomplished and a partition put up and the walls painted and flooring put down.”
Duncan has said that the LRA’s collection outgrew its home at the library and that keeping irreplaceable material in the underground location could put it at risk. The LCSC offers needed space and a controlled environment, which is sensitive to delicate artifacts.
“We’re really going to miss the library girls,” said archivist Corine Price, standing in her empty office, boxes at her feet.
“We work with them a lot of times, we see them everyday, eat lunch with them ... they’ve become friends.”
Price and fellow archivist Sarah Lawrence will be responsible for unpacking and reorganizing the collection at the LCSC. They say they’ve even found some forgotten materials on the back shelves while clearing out their storage area.
“It’s going to be semi-organized confusion for the next couple of weeks until we can place all of our items in their proper locations on the shelves,” Duncan said.
Duncan says he expects that the archives will be closed to the public for the rest of the month. He looks forward to reopening them at the beginning of August. The formal grand opening will be on Oct. 27.