All County, All the Time Since 2010 MAKE THIS YOUR PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY HOME...PAGE!  Saturday, November 28th, 2020

History is found at the County Archives

PRINCE EDWARD LIBRARY – The public is invited to research their family roots or discover County history by visiting the Prince Edward County Archives. The Archives, as part of the County of Prince Edward Public Library system, is the official repository of all County related historical print documents, including newspaper articles from long ago, significant letters, family documents, government papers and photographs.

Over 500,000 holdings are housed at the Archives, which is situated adjacent to the Wellington branch library at 261 Main Street in Wellington.  The air-conditioned location is open five days a week, including Tuesday evening, and is staffed by Manager and Archivist Krista Richardson. Its mandate is to collect and preserve printed material having any bearing on the history of Prince Edward County.

“At this time of year we get an influx of tourists coming in who are interested in learning about the history of the County and also about the many heritage buildings,” says Richardson.

“Also there’s been a surge in the popularity of genealogical research by visitors who have heard of ancestry.com, the online genealogy database that is accessible at no charge through the Archives and the six branches of the library.”

On average, Richardson has two research requests per day on a variety of topics, each requiring approximately one and a half hours to complete. Some patrons who are interested in researching family history, however, do choose to do their own genealogical investigations once shown how simple it is to access ancestry.com themselves online.

Earlier this year, the state-of-the-art digital archival software Minisis M2A was acquired by the Archives and work is underway to digitize all holdings using this database software.

Minisis, as the program is called, has been designed as a total Integrated Archival System to include everything from acquisitions and accessions through descriptions and  countless processes including enquiries, conservation, reproduction and rights ordering, tracking and management, client registration and card generation to circulation and request management and vital statistics. It is one of the most respected archival applications in the world. The software generates finding aids in the touch of a button and has full import and export capabilities along with Rules for Archive Description (RAD) and International Standard for Archival Description (General) ISADG.

“The most exciting part of this new database is having the capability of making records available online to anyone who has access to the Internet.

The staff is busy scanning and entering data into the database for uploading to the web with items within the collection prioritized by need and public demand.
“Before the images are digitized, there are two stages that must be completed at the record level that involve cleaning the information within the record, and looking for obscure details that may have occurred during the file transfer,” explains Richardson. The second stage involves updating locations and details.

“It’s a slow process,” admits Richardson, “but a worthy endeavor.”
Images are then scanned and two copies are saved: one master copy that is kept for the preservation of the image, and a second copy with a watermark is added by layering the document. Those with the watermark are then uploaded to the database for the public to access. So far, over 150 images are available for viewing online.

CLICK HERE for more information on the County of Prince Edward Public Library & Archives

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