Archiving Personal and Family Records at SPRA


1. Protect your family history from destruction.
2. Is Your Family History in Danger of being torn apart?
3. Keep it Real! Restrictions to Access.
4. Create a Family Legacy


1. Protect your family history from destruction.
You have spent many hours collecting and documenting your family history, but that precious collection, carefully garnered over a lifetime, can be discarded by descendants if they do not recognize its value. Archiving your work and family history is one way to guarantee that it will be preserved. The material should be archived where the family has spent the most significant part of their lives. If you are not sure what to keep and what to discard, ask the Archives for help.


2. Is Your Family History in Danger of being torn apart?

The other extreme is when everyone wants a piece of the family history.  Each descendent takes some photographs and documents, and the wonderful family albums are torn apart. The history that belongs to all is taken care of by no-one, and the story of the original family is scattered in bits across the country, subject to loss and deterioration. One solution to this problem is to archive the originals, which are then available to anyone who wants a copy.


3. Keep it Real! Restrictions to Access.

We need to archive the immediate truth about our past as it is found in personal records such as letters, diaries, and financial records. Even sensitive records should be preserved, but they may be restricted for reasons of privacy. For example, the homesick letters of a lonely immigrant (even if in a different language), the anguished diary of an un-wed mother in the 1950s, the legal documents in a bitter land dispute between neighbours, the private records of a business man—all of these are part of our history and should be preserved, but they should also be restricted until they can no longer embarrass or hurt anyone.  You can ask the Archives to restrict personal records for a time.


4. Create a Family Legacy

Individuals and families create and collect some of our most valuable historical documents. Donating your documents and photographs to an Archives ensures that your role in the history of your community will not be forgotten. A written history of the family or individual accompanies the records, which are never mixed with other material in the archives. While these archives serve as a valuable resource in the present, they will also be kept safe and preserved for future generations to access, and to keep them in touch with their past. Together, our personal and family archives create the fascinating story of the settlement of the South Peace.  Let’s not lose that story!

While Archives always prefer to preserve originals, portions of a collection can be copied, if necessary, to document an individual’s or family’s history.