Archives Week

Archives Week is celebrated annually during the first full week of February.
Saskatchewan's first Archives Week was celebrated in 2006.
Events featured during past Archives Weeks have included phone-ins shows on Radio; celebrity reading events, open houses and evenings of films in archives across Saskatchewan or of archival value to the province, a screening of the 1973 Saskatchewan-made film Paperback Hero was an example.

The "Archives Pavilion" at the Saskatoon Heritage Festival has been a regular feature in Saskatoon, but other events in communities including Cut Knife, Humboldt, LaRonge, Lloydminster, Melfort, North Battleford, Prince Albert, Regina, St. Isidore de Bellevue, Shaunavon, Swift Current, Wilcox and many more across the province.

Archives Week will continue to be an annual event, celebrated during the first full week of February starting on the Sunday.

  • February 4-10, 2018
  • February 3-9, 2019
  • February 2-8, 2020

Archives Week 2017

Paton 141 - Mrs. Bryce having a drink near Arcola - ca 1920
P-M59 - BCI Senior Baseball Team - 1929
RPL-A-0131 - Children on a very unlucky horse - 1903
AG1-006 - Breaking the sod near Rosetown - ca 1915

February 5-11

Archive Week 2017 poster, postcards and bookmarks

To help celebrate the 12th annual Archives Week the SCAA has once again produced postcards and bookmarks for our members to distribute to the public. The SCAA and communities across Saskatchewan will be celebrating Archives Week in the province February 5-11, 2017. Events will once again bring Saskatchewan’s archives into the provincial spotlight as never before!
These events by SCAA members will include Reader nights, historic film nights, open houses and various types of individual and inter-institutional exhibits that will focus on the abundant sources of Saskatchewan’s history and heritage in archives and Celebrate Archives! To help advertise those event SCAA is providing a downloadable poster blank for our members.

Download poster here

Send questions to the Archives Advisor at

Events for Archives Week 2017

Confirmed events as of February 2 - more information will be added as details and additional events across the province are confirmed.
Check out our Google map of events!


    The Archives of Humboldt Museum and Gallery will be hosting an open house event on Tuesday, February 7 from 1:30-4:30 of Archives Week. This will include a temporary exhibit of archival photos that the public are invited to view. Visitors are welcome to annotate copies with information on the people or events in them. This event has always been extremely popular and they receive valuable information on our photos. Also at the Open House, they will provide refreshments, including a celebratory archives cake and beverages.

La Ronge


    Lloydminster Regional Archives will be setting up displays all week at various senior's residences around the city. These will include the Pioneer Lodge, Hemstock Assisted Living Residence, and Hearthstone Place


The Melfort & District Museum will hold a "Coffee & Conversation ~ Coffee Row Throughout the Ages" on Wednesday, February 15, 2017, 2:00pm- 4:00pm. Coffee Row" is a big part of the history of restaurants, cafes, and coffee spots in Melfort. It is still not uncommon to see a group around the tables in local establishments, discussing the problems and stories of both the world and the town. These groups have become a staple in the social fabric of Melfort. This event is free and open to the public. Several volunteers serve as resources/discussion leaders. Prior to the event they will research various Melfort Coffee Row, from the early days up until today, in order to develop a display to enhance our event.

North Battleford

The City of North Battleford Historic Archives, for their 9th annual presentation for Archives Week will host a display of a collection of photographs and textual records pertaining to the “Corner Stores in North Battleford from 1905 – 1980”.  This display will include approximately 55 interactive display boards and maps showing the locations and owners of these valuable business in their community.  As their community grew and developed, besides the need for electricity, schools, churches, hospitals and infrastructure, there was a great need for the small “Corner Stores”.  Things started to change when the larger stores set up location in our community.  On February 22, 1930 the Safeway Store opened up at 1171-King Street (100th Street) and they saw a significant decline in these small businesses.
They will be setting up the display and an information booth at the Battlefords and District Co-operatives Territorial Place Mall in North Battleford on Thursday, February 9 , 2017 from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and then on Saturday, February 11, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  

This will be their 9th annual presentation for Archives Week in the community and are very excited to present this display to the public. They are certain that it will be a great source of discussion with their visitors.

Prince Albert

For Archives Weeks, the Bill Smiley Archives will be having a special display on Thursday, February 9th from 1-4pm at the Historical Museum. Come in and spend some time looking at Prince Albert's photographs, documents, or books!


The Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan will present a two hour event that will feature readings from never before seen 1885 dispatches to and from the war front, and excerpts from Louis Riel’s diary. The event begins at 7:00 PM on Wednesday February 8 at Bushwakker Brewing Company. Speakers include Prof. James Daschuk and Prof Sylvain Rehault from the University of Regina, Darren Prefontaine from the Gabriel Dumont Institute, and master of ceremonies Frank Korvemaker, and characters from the ‘Trial of Louis Riel’ play.

In partnership with the Regina Public Library’s Prairie History Room, join the City of Regina Archives for “Picturing the Past: Treasures from the City of Regina Archives.” At 7:00 on February 7 at the Regina Public Library Central Branch (211 12th Avenue.) Archives staff will introduce the Archives, reveal hidden treasures from the collection, and uncover the ways that you can access and use these treasures. You’ll also discover some fascinating Regina history along the way!

In celebration of Archives Week in Saskatchewan (February 5-11), the University of Regina Archives & Special Collections has mounted a display celebrating the history of their College Avenue Campus. Stop by the display case on the first floor of the Archer Library to see a variety of photos and textual records documenting life at College Avenue over the years. 


To kick off Archives week the SCAA will be participating with some of our members in the Heritage Festival of Saskatoon.

SCAA will be attending the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) Trade-show on Monday the 6th and Tuesday the 7th.

In Saskatoon, a group of archives that include the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan, the City of Saskatoon Archives, the University of Saskatchewan Archives and Special Collections, the Saskatoon Public Library - Local History and the Western Development Museum - George Shepard Research Library will present a Archives Week Film Night on Thursday February 8 at 7:00 PM. The event will be held at Saskatoon's Roxy Theater, 320 20th Avenue. Films will feature the history of Saskatoon and Saskatchewan held in archives across the province.

St. Isadore de Bellevue

In celebrating Archives Week - Célébrons la Semaine des archives, Archives de Bellevue will research and present a display at Centre culturel Le Rendez-vous  for the week February 5-11, 2017.
On Monday February 6 a Tea & Treasures Open House will be held at Thé Nouveauté : Centre culturel Le Rendez-vous, Bellevue.

The Archives de Bellevue committee have decided that featuring the complete collection of a community that is almost as old as confederation would be a fitting tribute to Celebrate Canada.

A multi-media display will include archival photographs and documents and short films. We hope to inspire member of the community to keep donating to the archives and to become involved as volunteers.


The Whitewood Tourism and Heritage Association will celebrate Archives Week 2017 by holding an open house in their Archives building from Monday to Friday from 1 to 4.

Why Archives Week?

One thing we have learned is that the memories of Saskatchewan's many achievements are well documented by its archival record. Historical texts, photographs, films, audio recordings and other archival material have been key resources in the telling of our story. Books such as Saskatchewan: A New History and the Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan, as well as numerous documentary films, newspaper articles and television advertisements could not have been produced without this province's archival institutions.

But few of the people reading those books or watching those documentaries ever stop to consider the historical records that went into making them, or the work that is done to ensure that those records are acquired, preserved and made available. Saskatchewan has over 50 established archival institutions. Saskatchewan's archivists have preserved millions of photographic images, gigabytes of electronic records and thousands of hours of audio recordings and moving images. They have also been at the forefront of technology-enhanced access to those records. Saskatchewan leads the country in producing the greatest number of "virtual exhibits," many of which have K-12 educational components. These provide instant access to key photographs and valuable documents.

Saskatchewan archivists argued for and helped to develop Archives Canada - a national database of archival information. Provincially, we have developed the Saskatchewan Archival Information Network (SAIN), an on-line database of textual records as well as being the first province to initiate an on-line provincial photograph database. 

In honour of our province's heritage and the work that has gone into ensuring its preservation, and to promote the role of archives in society, we celebrate "Archives Week" in Saskatchewan, on the first full week of February, this helps kick off Heritage month and coincides with the birthday of Edmund H. Oliver, who was the first professor of history at the University of Saskatchewan, and arguably the father of archives in this province (see biography).

Archives Week fosters our identity and pride in our past with displays and special events. It elevates the role of our province's archival institutions as keepers of authentic evidence of our past, keeping archives on our map!

Archives Week: Edmund Oliver

Edmund Oliver's Role in Establishing Archives in Saskatchewan 

Although the first mention made of archives was by the territorial government in 1897, no comprehensive collection of records was then pursued. John Hawkes, first legislative librarian, began collecting material in 1907 but did so rather haphazardly, without a discernable sense of selection or appraisal (he referred to collecting "a whole drayload of matter.") The concept of archives was thought about most seriously following the hiring of Edmund Oliver as the University's first professor of history in 1909. Before he arrived Oliver wrote to University president Walter Murray advising him of entreaties he had already made in terms of acquisitions, saying "I have found that students must do laboratory work in history as well as in physics and we must secure the equipment necessary as soon as practicable." Within two years of his arrival Oliver had met and discussed the opportunity of establishing primary research resources with Hawkes, Premier Scott, and Arthur Doughty, the Dominion Archivist; in these initiatives he had the active support of Walter Murray. While Oliver was traveling throughout the province collecting materials from families, his correspondence to Murray indicated his appreciation of the need for appraisal within a collection, and he also foreshadowed our current understanding of archives as vehicles not only of heritage but of accountability and critical analysis. He wrote Murray: "As I understand my should produce not trained historians, but capable and intelligent citizens. As soon as we secure adequate equipment [his 'laboratory for history'], I have hopes that our students may be able to contribute something to the intelligent discussion of public questions. In part this will be a new field even for myself but I am convinced that in this direction lies a great opportunity."

Oliver's conversations with Murray resulted in a letter from Murray to Scott in 1911, suggesting "a commission to go into the question of the preservation of historical documents, or rather for the collection of provincial archives," further suggesting the commission be "a purely advisory body" consisting of the Premier and another member of government, two members of the legislature, a professor of history from the University, the President of the University, and the provincial librarian - altogether remarkably similar to the eventual provincial archives Board established three decades later. Also in that letter, it is clear that Murray and Oliver envisioned an archives collection of both government and private papers. Moreover, both Oliver and Murray, recognizing the value such a collection would have for their students, were concerned not only with future interest in such documents, but in their immediate access and use.

Professor A.S. Morton, often mentioned in regard to the development of the provincial archives, was hired in 1914 - instantly becoming the sole member of the history department, as Oliver (and Frank Underhill) had both joined up for war service. There would have been no reason for Morton, new to the country, the province and the University, not simply to have accepted the philosophy of proactive acquisition as part of his, and the history department's, mandate. This doesn't diminish Morton's role in vigorously pursuing the establishment of the Historic Records Office and, essentially, the provincial archives. Nevertheless, there is good evidence that Oliver truly initiated, and effectively began, a coherent provincial archival collection. Oliver appears to have had and understanding of the role of acquisition, appraisal, access, and accountability in archival work, and he understood that archives serve to document our past as well as inform our citizens. His birthday, 8 February (1881), is therefore a good date to start "Archives Week" in Saskatchewan.