The New Archives of the Diocese in 2012
We have exciting news about our new Diocesan Archives facility. You may have heard that new Synod offices, including Archives, are being constructed. We expect to move out of our temporary location and into our new space alongside the Cathedral Church of All Saints in December 2012. The volume of records held in the Diocesan Archives has doubled since 2004, due to greater awareness of preservation of church heritage and the importance of records management, and is still growing, but at a predictable rate. In 2005 we began storing the collection offsite and planning for a new Archives space, and our plans were realized in January 2011 in conjunction with the design of the new Synod offices.
Our Diocese has made a commitment to having a “state of the art” Archives that will preserve our heritage and serve all of our future needs. The Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island Archives currently holds the oldest collection of English Church records in North America (including the St. Paul’s Church, Halifax Archive collection, dating from 1749). This includes parish records bearing witness to the core ministry and life of our parishes (all registers, minutes, ledgers, and correspondence surviving since each parish was formed), Diocesan Synod records, clergy records, rare serial publications, records of committees, groups, societies and organizations. It includes files of the Bishops, Registrars, Chancellors and officers of Synod. As well, there is a large collection of photographs and property documents, including maps, plans, grants and deeds of our churches, glebe and parish properties. The safe and orderly custodianship of these records not only supports our parishes and the Synod office on a daily basis, but will also be a foundational resource for future developments as we seek to carry out God’s mission in the world.
Our former Archives office, library and vault rooms (544 sq. ft.) held less than half the collection in crowded, unworkable conditions. The rest was stored in an off-site facility (360 sq. ft.), which has cost the Diocese $3,000 per year since August 2004. That cost has more than doubled since we moved the onsite contents to a second locker in April 2010. The new Archives office and vault area will be spacious, efficient and well equipped. Contemporary technology will live side by side with the Church of England Institute oak furniture and the cornerstone! However, we need to solve the records storage space problem. With high-density, compact, mobile shelving, it can be done!
The mobile shelving system we are installing in the vault will hold 460 meters of archive boxes on its shelves. It provides secure access. It will hold our entire present volume of records and provide 140 metres of extra shelf space for future deposits and semi-active records of the Synod Office, thus eliminating the cost of offsite storage permanently.
Each row of shelving slides on tracks using a manual-assist system - no electrical parts to break down! It opens one aisle at a time, occupies about half the floor space and gives our historic and fragile records optimum protection from dust, pollutants, water and damaging light. To see the architectural plan of the new Archives Offices and Vault, click here.
To see the technical plan of the Spacesaver Systems Maritime design of our high-density manual assist compact mobile shelving system, click here.
To see a conceptual illustration of how mobile shelving saves space and money, click here
The total cost of this permanent, state of the art shelving will be $45,225. We have already paid one-third of this with a generous grant of $15,000 from the Anglican Foundation of Canada, and secured another $8,179 from parishes and individual contributors, including Archives Committee members.
Our goal is to raise the other $22,000 by December 2012:
$3,230 will pay for one whole carriage row of 5 columns of 6 shelves each. $646 will pay for one column of shelves. $108 will pay for one shelf, which could hold all of one parish’s records! (3 legal size file boxes fit on one 42- inch shelf)
All contributions will make a difference!
Contributions may be made on line at the donation page
or sent to:
Archives Shelving Fund
C/O Peter Flemming
Diocese of NS and PEI
6017 Quinpool Road, Halifax, NS B3K 5J6
Please make cheques payable to the “Diocese of NS and PEI - Archives”. Income tax receipts will be issued for contributions of $10 or more. Memorials and dedications of your contributions may be requested.
Thank you for your interest and your anticipated support of the Diocesan Archives!
To learn more about our Diocesan Archives, click here.