The South Peace Regional Archives strives to not only connect our current generations with those of the past and future, but also to connect multiple living generations with one another. We do this by engaging learners of all ages and abilities and promoting shared learning opportunities. This year, we collaborated with Grande Prairie Seniors Reading Theatre on a new video series honouring the late Mary Nutting. Mary Nutting was the founding Executive Director of the South Peace Regional Archives. She worked as the Executive Director for 17 years, during which time she authored and contributed to numerous historical publications, including: Olwen’s Scrapbook: A Journey to the Peace Country in 1933 and A Grande Education: 100 Schools in the County of Grande Prairie,1910-1960. The new video series, produced by Seniors Reading Theatre with support from M3M Marketing, showcases reading performances of A Grande Education: One Hundred Schools in the County of Grande Prairie, 1910-1960.
A Grande Education tells the stories of one hundred one-room schools in the County and features photographs, correspondence, and other documents, such as these blueprints of the Lindsey school teacher residence. This series of blueprints is preserved in the Grande Prairie School Division No. 14 fonds. Grande Prairie School Division No. 14 was created through an Order in Council of the Provincial Government on October 16, 1937. The school division represented the Alberta Department of Education through the school inspectors, who had formerly been in charge of overseeing the teachers and school district boards. Individual school district boards were replaced by trustees who carried on the day-to-day operation of the school. A Grande Education was written by Mary Nutting with the help of countless volunteers and researchers and dedicated to all those who contributed to the preservation of the history of the one-room schools in the County of Grande Prairie.
This new video project serves to honour Mary’s legacy and share our local community history: “Our hope is to share these videos with the community and most of all with seniors who have been missing family throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We know there are many out there who would appreciate learning and reminiscing about the history of the region” (Seniors Reading Theatre). A Tribute to Mary Nutting also serves to further increase our visibility and access to our records.
Catch up on the series below! New videos will be posted every week on M3M’s YouTube page and Seniors Reading Theatres Facebook page and shared on the South Peace Regional Archives’ Facebook page. To purchase a copy of A Grande Education, visit the Archives’ online shop.