This photo, taken on Dec. 22, 1951, shows Grade 5 students performing the play Jack Frost’s Realm – directed by Jessie Rottluff – at Matsqui Hall. (The Reach P5390)

This photo, taken on Dec. 22, 1951, shows Grade 5 students performing the play Jack Frost’s Realm – directed by Jessie Rottluff – at Matsqui Hall. (The Reach P5390)

The Reach launches new website for heritage photos

Feature stores old pictures and artifact information

The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford has launched its new Pastperfect Online website through its community archives.

The new site not only contains new enhanced features and searchability for the public, it also features information about The Reach’s collection of artifacts.

Pastperfect Online has the capacity for The Reach’s crew to continue with its extensive photo digitization project while allowing for the digitization of its artifact collection.

The actual Pastperfect software was funded through contributions from the Rotary Club of Abbotsford-Sumas, Reimer Hardwoods Ltd. and more than a dozen generous local donors.

“While digitizing of the photo collection has taken priority over the past eight years, The Reach has also collected and catalogued over 5,000 artifacts,” said Kris Foulds, curator of historical collections at The Reach.

“Although not all artifact records contain a photo at this time, our plan is to begin work on this over the next few years.”

The digitization of the photo archives is an ongoing project supported by the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. The Reach adds 5,000 images per year to its online archives, which is currently over 36,000 images.

The Reach archives is the only source of the Abbotsford News images and the only online photo archives in the community.

The News does not maintain an image archive, and has instead entrusted The Reach to conserve and share these images with the public.

Foulds said The Reach uses the collection with accompanying history lessons in their arts and heritage programming and education packages and their weekly historical Throwback Thursdays on Facebook.

The images are also used in partnership with local Ravens Brewing Company on their craft-brewed Clayburn Smoked Scotch Ale label, at Cabela’s Abbotsford, with local publications, and corporate offices.

Visit thereach.ca/research-and-collections/ for more information.