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Community Archives: A Little Goes a Long Way

Over the past approximately six years I have undertaken research in the Archives of the Anglican Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. The subject of my research was the design and construction of All Saints' Cathedral, a fine and monumental 20th century Gothic building by a prominent American Architect, Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue. This research was made infinitely easier by the fact that the papers and records of the then Lord Bishop, C. L. Worrell, had been organized, catalogued and boxed thanks to funds provided under the existing grant programme. I know for a fact that in this particular small archives there are many other collections which could, and should, benefit from this most basic organization. The smallest amount of money directed to such work in a small archives, is returned ten-fold. Digitization, which I understand is the alternative, is of very little use to archives, at least in this area of the country, where much work remains to be done in terms of basic preservation. One thousand dollars in the budget of a governmental archives is nothing more than a few months worth of paper clips; in the budget of a community archives it is the impetus for weeks of employment and of immense benefit to the preservation of our nation's posterity.

William Naftel


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