BRANDON, Man. – An essential record of Manitoba’s agricultural history is being organized through a project at Brandon University’s (BU) S.J. McKee Archives.
Mixed media items from the Manitoba Pool Elevator (MPE) fonds are being appraised, processed, arranged and described as part of the project. These graphic materials document the entire history of MPE, from 1924 to 2001. The mixed media materials are only part of a collection that includes organizational records, minutes of meetings, correspondence, photographs, slides, audio tapes and reel-to-reel recordings. Also included in the fonds are books from the MPE Library, the entire run of MPE’s first newspaper, the Scoop Shovel, and bound copies of the Manitoba Co-operator.
The $10,000 project is being funded in part by a $4,500 Heritage Grant from the Province of Manitoba. Additional funds were provided by the Eileen McFadden Endowment for the S.J. McKee Archives and the Fred McGuinness Endowment for Rural Archives.
“Work has already been completed on the bulk of the textual records in the fonds, however the mixed media materials remained largely unprocessed and inaccessible until this project,” said University Archivist Christy Henry.
“The funding has allowed the S.J. McKee Archives to hire a research assistant to develop a preservation plan for these valuable records, while also providing us with greater context for a collection of great significance to the history of Manitoba and the Canadian Prairies.”
The National Archival Appraisal Board declared the MPE fonds to be of provincial and national significance, describing it as “clearly one of the most important fonds related to agriculture existing in Manitoba and one of the fundamental collections for the study of the settlement and farm economy of Manitoba in the 20th century.”
The S.J. McKee Archives, located in the John E. Robbins Library at BU, took possession of much of the fonds in 1975, with a number of additions to the collection made since then.
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