The Elgin County Archives maintains an active association with and benefits immensely from the invaluable support of numerous community partner organizations in Elgin County and the City of St. Thomas.
The Alma College International Alumnae Association, established as the Alma Daughters Society in 1901, served as the original custodians of the archival records of Alma College prior to their donation to the Archives in 2002. In addition to ensuring the survival of the College records, the Association and its members have assisted and financially supported the Archives in completing numerous projects designed to preserve and enhance public access to the Alma College fonds.
The Elgin Historical Society, originally established in 1891 as the Elgin Historical and Scientific Institute, is another key organization to whose lobbying efforts the Archives owes its existence. Over the years, the Society acquired and maintained numerous records which have since come to form a central component of the Archives’ collections. The Society has supported the Archives’ efforts to secure funding to undertake a number of key projects, and individual Society members routinely provide their knowledge and expertise to help Archives’ staff resolve patrons’ reference enquiries.
Elgin County Women’s Institutes have for many years performed an invaluable service to the cause of preserving and making available the rich history of Elgin’s communities, largely through their creation and on-going maintenance of local Tweedsmuir Histories. Numerous local Women’s Institutes have donated their records to the Archives over the years and recently collaborated in the successful completion of a major project to digitize and publish online the entire contents of the Archives’ extensive collection of more than eighty Tweedsmuir Histories.
The Elgin County Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, formed in 1982, was one of the community organizations most active in the ultimately successful effort to establish an archival program in Elgin County. ELGINOGS members have volunteered countless hours facilitating public access to Archives’ records of central interest to genealogists. Their projects include transcribing and indexing information on Elgin County cemetery markers; extracting and indexing birth, death and marriage notices published in local newspapers, including the Aylmer Express, Dutton Advance, and St. Thomas Times-Journal; and indexing County census records.
To learn more about how the Elgin County Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society was instrumental in helping to establish the Elgin County Archives, and how the Branch has supported the Archives since it opened to the public in 2002, download this presentation to any computer running the Power Point application.
The Elgin Photographic Heritage Society was formed in 1992 to assist Elgin County Library staff with the initial work of processing the Scott Studio fonds, a nationally-significant collection of more than 100,000 glass-plate, plastic and acetate photograph negatives created by the Scott Photographic Studio, St. Thomas, 1879-1983. Society members under the direction of Chairman Mr. Ken Verrell transferred the negatives to acid-free storage media and compiled an item-level database. Society members were active participants in the editorial committee responsible for publishing The Scott-Sefton Collection: Elgin’s History Through a Photographer’s Lens, Volume I (2001) and Harvest of Memories: Elgin’s History Through a Photographer’s Lens, Volume II (2010).