November 29, 2018
It has recently been brought to our attention that the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan (PAS) has made the decision to consolidate its holdings and close its office in Saskatoon at the University of Saskatchewan. The Saskatoon office has existed as an important part of the University’s research network since the archive board was created in 1945.
The mandate of the provincial archives is to act as a repository of “both in-person and distance research into family history, government policy and accountability, educational history, past eras, business and social organizations, land settlement, local history, geographic places, cultural developments, human rights, community events and provincial celebrations.”
In performing this vital role, the archives allow both researchers, students, and everyday citizens to inquire into the province’s past, in order to examine the “documentary heritage of the province.” Archivists are expertly tasked with the important work of organizing these invaluable documents and making them accessible to the general public. Given the numerous restrictions that exist around existing catalogued material, the closure of the Saskatoon office will make it even more difficult for researchers to access necessary records.
The closure of the Saskatoon location comes on top of the dramatically scaled back hours that the archive has been offering for the past several years. In fact, the reductions in staffing and now the closure of the Saskatoon branch of the archives will have dire consequences for people attempting to access records, which could mean even longer delays in cataloguing new material while also extending the wait times for researchers to access existing records.
Even if this closure allows the Regina office to expand its collection or to hire new staff, students, faculty, and researchers coming to Saskatoon will run into a never-ending series of issues trying to access essential information. Moreover, with the closure of the Saskatchewan Transportation Company, it will be increasingly difficult for researchers to travel to Regina to access essential records.
We urge the PAS to reconsider this decision. The archives are essential for citizens to access necessary public information. Such a closure will be a loss for students, faculty and the general public at the University of Saskatchewan.
Charles Smith, Associate Professor of Political Science, St. Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan
Erika Dyck, Professor, Canada Research Chair in the History of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan
Jim Clifford, Associate Professor, Environmental History, University of Saskatchewan
Priscilla Settee, Professor, Indigenous Studies, University of Saskatchewan
Paul Orlowski, Associate Professor, Educational Foundations, University of Saskatchewan
Allison Smith, Special Lecturer, Languages, Literature and Cultural Studies, St. Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan
Wes Cameron, Saskatoon
Claire Card, Professor, Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, University of Saskatchewan
Maurice Jr. Labelle, Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Saskatchewan
Michael Laxer, Researcher, Toronto
Bohdan Kordan, Professor, Dept of Political Studies, Director, Prairie Centre for the Study of Ukrainian Heritage, St Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan
Tom McIntosh, Professor, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Regina
Monica Hwang, Assistant Professor of Sociology, St. Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan
Tracy Mitchell, B.A., University of Saskatchewan
Cindy Hanson, Associate Professor and Director, Adult Education & Human Resource Development, University of Regina
Ed Lehman, B. Ed., University of Regina
Cheryl Stadnichuk, Researcher, CUPE Saskatchewan, Regina
Sheelah McLean, PhD, University of Saskatchewan
Marc Spooner, Professor, Educational Psychology, University of Saskatchewan
Eric Strikwerda, Associate Professor, History, Athabasca University
JoAnne Jaffe, Professor Sociology and Social Studies, University of Regina
Lori Hanson, Professor, Community Health and Epidemiology, University of Saskatchewan
Michael Gertler, Associate Professor, Sociology, University of Saskatchewan
Garry Ewart, University of Regina
Geoff Read, PhD, Dean, Arts and Social Science & Associate Professor, History, Huron College, Western University
Rachel Engler-Stringer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology in the College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan
Peter Garden, Saskatoon
Robert Englebert, Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Saskatchewan
Marc Spooner, University of Regina
Lorri Ewart, Regina
Tom Graham, Saskatoon
Sean Carleton, Mount Royal University
Sharleen Rayner, Saskatoon
Bryan Wiebe, Department of Philosophy, St. Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan
Todd Webb, Associate Professor of History, Laurentian University
Andrew Stevens, PhD (Queen’s University), Associate Professor, Faculty of Business Administration, University of Regina
Emily Eaton, Associate Professor, Department of Geography & Environmental Studies, University of Regina
Lesya Sabada, St. Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan
Collen Bell, Assistant Professor of Political Studies, University of Saskatchewan
Wilfrid Denis, Professor Emeritus, Sociology St. Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan
Martha Robbins, PhD Researcher, University of Saskatchewan Alumni
Pierre-Francois Noppen, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Saskatchewan
Jack Walton, Saskatoon
Jullee Sanderson, Treasurer, Saskatchewan Federation of Labour
Mary Ann Bevis, Professor of Religion and Culture, St. Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan
Please use the comment section below to add your name to the open letter.
This move would discourage use of this important archival resource by faculty, grad students and student at the province’s major university. The purpose of archives is not just to conserve the materials, but to make them available to people who need and wish to use them. (I visited the university a few months ago and was enormously impressed by the dynamism of the researchers.)
Matt Todd, Assistant Professor, Canadian Environmental History, University of Lethbridge
Please add my name….David McGrane, Associate Professor of Political Studies, St. Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan
Erin Grant, B.A. (Hons.), University of Saskatchewan
Arden Ogg, Director, Cree Literacy Network, Winnipeg
Cheryl Troupe, Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Saskatchewan
Please add my signature as follows:
Ashleigh Androsoff, Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Saskatchewan
Don Kossick, Making the Links Radio, CFCR 90.5 FM Saskatoon
Tasha Beeds, Department of English, University of Saskatchewan
Simonne Horwitz, Associate Professor, Department of History, Univesity of Saskatchewan
Robert D. Sider, Adjunct Professor, Department of History, Charles A. Dana Professor of Classical Languages emeritus, Dickinson College Carlisle PA.
Chelsea Lehner B.A (Honours) University of Saskatchewan
Susan Eagle, BSW/BA , Community Development, Indigenous Early Years, Comox Valley, BC
Roberta Cross, BA (Hons), University of Saskatchewan, PDD, IESE Business School
Stephanie Olsen, McGill University/University of Tampere
Tasha Hubbard, Associate Professor, Faculty of Native Studies, University of Alberta
Anthony Blair Dreaver Johnston, Special Projects Mistawasis Nêhiyawak, great, great, great grandson of Mistawasis
Benjamin Hoy, Assistant Professor of History, University of Saskatchewan
Rob Boddice, Social Studies of Medicine, McGill University
Glen Green, B.A., B.MUS.MUS.ED., University of Saskatchewan
Dale Miquelon, professor emeritus, History, University of Saskatchewan
Lynette Cain, B.A. (Hons.), University of Saskatchewan
Valerie Korinek, Professor and Vice Dean Faculty Relations, University of Saskatchewan
Sharissa Hantke, Saskatoon
Cathy Holtslander. I did my Masters research at the Saskatchewan Archives in Saskatoon. There is nothing to compare with full access to original documents. There is no way I could have done my study if I had to travel to Regina. By consolidating the Archives in Regina it cuts off future generations of U of S students and citizen researchers outside of Regina from the ability to create important new knowledge about our history that can only be done via archival research. I am also concerned that a consolidation process could result in culling or reduced capacity to hold materials, further impairing our access to history.
Alexandra Forand, B.A. (Hon), University of Saskatchewan, M.M.S.T, University of Toronto
Kristine Alexander, Associate Professor of History, University of Lethbridge
Barbara Campbell United Church of Saskatchewan Archives Volunteer.
Consolidating the archives in Regina would make access more difficult to the United Church of Saskatchewan archives, which are presently housed in Saskatoon. I have just completed a 1 year project on the archives of St Thomas Wesley church in Saskatoon, and it was under the understanding that the records would be stored in Saskatoon, not in Regina.
Please add my name: Margi Corbett, retired teacher, Saskatoon
Chris Kent, Professor of History Emeritus. It is important to recognize that these archives are not just for the use of professional historians and other academics. They are there for the general public, and the general public are their main clients and beneficiaries. They are the province’s memory bank.
Caitlin M. Woloschuk, undergraduate at University of Saskatchewan
Tina Loo, University of British Columbia
Some institutions should not be consolidated. The University of Saskatchewan deserves to keep these archives to the benefit of all.
Amelia Johnson, MA candidate at Carleton University
This history/archives has to be available, open and honest; ALL Canadians must have easy access to this information for research and education. True reconciliation will not happen if federal and provincial government cuts access and networking in this way.
Lisa Langan, B.A., B.Ed., University of Saskatchewan
When a history student in Saskatoon, access to the provincial archives was a prime teaching tool for a better understanding of history’s building blocks
Ryan Dutchak, MA student, University of Saskatchewan
Kiera Mitchell, MA History Student, University of Saskatchewan
Hannah Roberts, B.A. (Hons), University of Saskatchewan
Sean Holman, Associate Professor of Journalism, Mount Royal University
Erin Isaac, B.A. (Hons.), University of Saskatchewan
Sandra Beardsall, Professor of Church History and Ecumenics, St. Andrew’s College
Leta Atkinson. Saskatoon Saskatchewan
It is important to the citizens of this province that not all functions of government be centralized in Regina.
The negative effects this will have on not only professional researchers but curious members of Saskatoon and surrounding communities will be noticeable. This archive and all the materials held therein are crucial to local historical, social, and cultural studies. To remove it from this city, from the U of S campus, will be a tragic and senseless loss.
The local archive at the University of Saskatchewan was very important for graduate students and faculty doing research on medical history, local History, queer history or queer sexyalities ( both for WGST and History graduate students). We urge reconsidering the closing of this archive as it would add unnecessary travel costs to these graduate students and impact the University of Saskatchewan local research capabilities.
University of Saskatchewan
Assistant professor Modern Chinese History/ Women and Gender Studies
Justin Fisher, PhD student, Department of History, University of Saskatchewan
Rhonda L Hinther, Associate Professor of History, Brandon University
I’ve started using the archives this past year to research my family’s history and for my thesis for the Masters of Fine Arts in Writing Program. I’m angry that this government finds it acceptable to continue cutting public services with no consultation. This is not democracy.
Bonnie Heilman, B.A., Unversity of Saskatchewan
Marissa Suetta, Saskatoon
Tony Ulriksen – I like researching past history on families and people in general. If this makes it more difficult to that then I’m against it.
The presence of the archives branch in Saskatoon is essential for history students and for the public.
Shannon Stunden Bower, Assistant Professor, History and Classics, University of Alberta
Tessa Laird, University of Saskatchewan
Paul Hackett, University of Saskatchewan
Julian DeVito-Porter, Undergraduate Student and Research Assistant, University of Saskatchewan
Lauren Wheeler, President, Friends of the Provincial Archives of Alberta, Edmonton
Jessica DeWitt, University of Saskatchewan
Sarah Nickel, Assistant Professor, Indigenous Studies, University of Saskatchewan
Erin Dolmage, Seneca College
Raquel Alvarado, undergraduate researcher. Political Studies, BA (Hon.)
Megan Hubert, Langham, Saskatchewan
Loleen Berdahl, Professor, Political Studies, University of Saskatchewan
Stephanie Danyluk, Researcher, Saskatoon
Courtney Hrynuik, undergraduate at the University of Saskatchewan
Deborah Cheesbrough, Saskatoon
Katie Sparling, Museum Docent/Researcher, Saskatoon
This abrupt closure of a major repository will mean serious hardship for a large number of Saskatoon-based graduate students and their supervisors.
Lynnea Mopre, Saskatoon
Please add my name to the open letter
Cecil Nagy , Farmer, Esterhazy, Saskatchewan
The location of the Provincial archives in Saskatoon is essential for people in the northern part of the province who are researching their family trees and for students at the University who require these resources for their studies!
Serena Liu, Student, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Jessica Quan, University of Saskatchewan
Brendan Tide, student of engineering
Diana Payton, Saskatoon
Our history belongs to the people of Saskatchewan.
Apeksha Heendeniya, University of Saskatchewan
Autumn LaRose-Smith, University Student. Saskatoon
Jackson Andrews, undergraduate, University of Saskatchewan
The archives in Saskatoon is an invaluable resource for researching local history.
Christian Pollock, Student Researcher, Saskatoon
Mackenzie Paradzik, undergraduate student, Saskatoon Saskatchewan
Melissa McCarthy, archivist, City of Edmonton Archives, and Institutional Member-at-Large, Archives Society of Alberta
I have spent many hours doing research at the archives here. It will be very difficult for me not to have the records available here and to have to travel to Regina to see them.
Glenn Iceton, University of Saskatchewan
Sarah White, University of Saskatchewan
Gabrielle Cavalli, Saskatoon
“[Berger’s] message is that through an understanding of our background and our ability to place ourselves in the history has brought us to the present moment, we are able to actively engage with where we are going it is through the knowledge of our own humanity that we are capable of advocating for ourselves and our rights in [our present context]”
Berger, J. Ways of knowing. (1972)
Jenny Dueck, graduate. British Columbia.
Aditi Chadha, Undergraduate Student, University of Saskatchewan
Lucy Zhou, Undergraduate Student, Saskatoon
Caitilin Terfloth, Saskatoon, SK
Jackson Hase, undergraduate student in History, University of Saskatchewan
Anyssa Plan, University of Saskatchewan
Karon Shmon, Gabriel Dumont Institute
Former student and employee, University of Saskatchewan
Terri Bear-Linklater, Saskatoon SK
The Saskatoon archives are an important resource for writers. My poetry book might not have come to fruition without the time I spent there.
Brenda Macdougall, Chair in Metis Research, uOttawa
Louise Henderson, alumna of U. Of S., family historian.
U of S BA(Hons.)(History) 1997
Courtney Davies, B.A. Hons, University of Saskatchewan, 2nd Year J.D. Candidate, College of Law, University of Saskatchewan.
James Naylor, Professor of History, Brandon University
Please don’t close the Saskatoon branch of the archives. It’s a treasure. Veronica Strong-Boag, Professor Emerita, University of BC and Adjunct Professor, University of Victoria
B.A. Hons, University of Saskatchewan
M.A. University of Saskatchewan
PhD Candidate, York University
University of Saskatchewan, B.A. Anthropology and Archaeology, 1992
Daryl Janzen, Departmental Assistant, Physics & Engineering Physics, University of Saskatchewan
Daniel J. Paré, Associate Professor, University of Ottawa
Lori Johb, President
Saskatchewan Federation of Labour
Jennifer Bowes, Saskatoon
This would be a tragedy!
Savannah Holt, educator, Saskatoon
Michelle Desveaux, PhD Candidate, University of Saskatchewan
Mackenzie Stewart, B.A., Law Student, Saskatoon
Julia Smith, Banting Fellow, Department of Sociology, University of Alberta
Judith Silverthorne, author, Regina
Mairi Anderson, B.A., University of Saskatchewan
Sylvia Smith: Settler from Treaty 6 Territory, U.of S. alumni
Sheila Heinrich, BSCHEC ’80, U of S Alumna (Calgary, AB)
Linda Yip, Genealogist
Elaine E Nystrom,
retired. Genealogy research.
Emily Sutherland, B.A. (English) and 3rd Year J.D. Candidate, College of Law, University of Saskatchewan
Very unfortunate, especially now that the STC has shut down, too… 8-(
Elizabeth Bekolay, BSc. Educator
Lesley Strelioff, B.Hons, U of S alumni who also enjoys genealogy research, Saskatoon area.
Candace Savage, author and researcher, Saskatoon. The Archives have been starved for funds for years. This gross reduction of service is a call to action.
There are two major cities in Saskatachewan—Saskatoon and Regina. Centralizing the archives at one site will make the records more inaccessible to researchers, students, genealogists, and members of the general public who have a keen interest in history. The decision to close the archives in Saskatoon does not make sense. Wouldn’t have been better to consult with those affected by the decision to explore options? What was the problem that the Archives was trying to solve by moving the records to Regina?
Hannah Cooley, B.A. Hons, University of Saskatchewan, PhD student, University of Toronto.
The existence of two offices of the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan in Regina and Saskatoon is unique in Canada. The office on the U of S campus has afforded accessibility to researchers which, in turn, has stimulated the publication of an impressive number of works on the history of western Canada. The closure of the Saskatoon office will create obstacles for many researchers, and thereby erode the contribution the archives makes to the cultural life of the province. – Joan Champ, MA, historian.
Save the archives.
Les Oystryk – Creighton (a long way from Regina!)
I have used the archives for historical research and found information that was unavailable otherwise.
This closure and move stifles research and understanding of our province.
Randy Robert B. Ed. University of Saskatchewan
Eric Anderson. Saskatoon.
David Meyer, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Saskatchewan
Erin Millions, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Winnipeg
Can’t believe this incredible resource would be closed.
Dr. Jonathan Swainger, History Department, University of Northern British Columbia and descendant of Saskatchewan homesteaders
Rhonda Lyne, current U of S history student.
Meagan Breault, B.A. Hons. University of Saskatchewan, M.A.Candidate Carleton University.
Craig Nesland, B.Ed, University of Saskatchewan
Warrick Baijius, MA, University of Saskatchewan
Caitlin Williams-Untereiner B.ed Student of History and Educator – we need the archives in Saskatoon
Courtney Bowman, B.A. Hon., M.A., research assistant at the University of Saskatchewan
Keep the archives in Saskatoon and fund them adequately!
Carol Vandale, BTh, MCEd
Bob Barnetson, Athabasca University
Kathryn Nogue, Regina
PhD Candidate, University of Alberta
Lexi Morash – Student, U of S.
Ian Mosby, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Guelph
Robin Steeg, Saskatoon
Catherine Gendron, Saskatoon
Penny Young, Moose Jaw
Lisa Vargo, Department of English, University of Saskatchewan
Languages, Literatures and Cultural Studies
St. Thomas More College, University of Saskatchewan
Associate Professor, Department of History
Barbara Byers, C.M.
Tammy Vallee – Kindred Consulting
Maxwell Otte, Archivist, Vancouver
Kelly Homenick, Archivist, Vancouver
Tom Nesmith, Professor (Retired, Senior Scholar), Archival Studies, Dept of History, University of Manitoba
John Fontaine, PhD candidate, University of Alberta
Elizabeth-Anne Johnson, Digital Archivist, Yukon Archives
Colleen Paull, Archivist, Edmonton
Lori Podolsky, Archivist, Montreal (formerly from Saskatoon)
Josephine Sallis, Archivist, South Peace Regional Archives, Grande Prairie, AB
What’s the point of having archives if we don’t provide reasonable access to them?
Andriy Nahachewsky, Edmonton and Brussels.
Access is key to validating the enormous value of the materials and the investments in them to date.
As a writer of historical novels set in Saskatchewan I have used these archives many times, both in person and by phone. The staff ar3e always very helpful. Please keep the Saskatoon branch open..
Krystal Payne, Student, University of Manitoba
André Magnan, Associate Professor, Socioly and Social Studies, University of Regina
Chantal Diehl, University of Reginacha
Lisa Uyeda, Vancouver
Kevin Owen, Vancouver
Kathryn Louro, Archivist, Prince George
Karen Markle, undergraduate student of Arts and Humanities at Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
Martin Gaal, Univeristy of Saskatchewan
Shelley Sweeney, former University of Regina Archivist
Adriana Juarez, Undergraduate Student, Research Assistant, Department of Indigenous Studies, University of Saskatchewan
PhD, University of Saskatchewan
D. Kim Christie-Milley, BA, MLS
Team Lead Architectural Drawings & Published Materials
City of Edmonton Archives
Angela Kalinowski, Dept. of History, University of Saskatchewan
Geoff Cunfer, History Department Head, University of Saskatchewan
Lucas Richert, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Douglas Nesbitt, PhD
After reading Bill Waiser’s column on CBC Saskatchewan, I am even more troubled by this decision.
The archives are part of our public infrastructure and belong to the people of Saskatchewan.
Archival collections are vital for historians, genealogists, librarians and all researchers on an international level. We must preserve our past to retain our sense of history. How else can we understand the present and the future?
Mark Vajcner, Regina
Mark Meyers, Associate Professor, University of Saskatchewan, History Department
George Kovalenko, Library Assistant, Local History Room, Saskatoon, Sask.
Wendy Moore MSc, researcher, Toronto
Garth Ulrich, Prince Albert, SK
Merle Massie, Adjunct Professor, School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan. Author, Biggar, Saskatchewan.
Robert Clipperton, Saskatoon
Liz Quinlan, Associate Professor, Dept of Sociology, University of Saskatchewan
Sheryle Powley, Marcelin Library
Felicia Pulo, MLIS Graduate, McGill University
W. R. Turner Saskatoon (BA, MA, UofS)
Danica Lorer, Storyteller, Saskatoon
Access to information for reasearchers, General public and students in particular should not be elitist based on geographic location. What this proposed closure does is provide reasearchers and students in Regina a step up from Saskatoon researchers and students; they will not have the option of physical access to this information and I suspect any associated costs to access this information could potentially be the responsibility of the person requesting the information. They would be looking at a delay in receiving the information and have to absorb possibly higher costs; neither of which these groups can afford. Please reconsider this decision.
Theresa Wilson, B.A., University of Saskatchewan alumni
Add my name to keeping this office in Saskatoon
Betty Millar, Saskatoon
Julia Adamson, Saskatoon Genealogist and historian
I also implore you to reconsider this decision, especially in light of the recent article in the Star Phoenix – January 10 2019 by Merle Massie. – It only costs $500 a year in rent for the archives to operate in Saskatoon, and the SK archives board pays $1.1 million in “accommodation” says the article on page A6.
My gosh, why did the provincial archives not centralize in Saskatoon. Someone is not thinking!!!!
Add my name to the petition please.
So sad to see such a serious step backwards.