This image from The Reach archives shows kids picking berries in Matsqui in 1947. (Photo courtesy of The Reach, P4696)

This image from The Reach archives shows kids picking berries in Matsqui in 1947. (Photo courtesy of The Reach, P4696)

Funding supports The Reach’s photo archives

More than 35,000 images available on Abbotsford gallery’s website

The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford has received another $10,000 from UBC’s Irving K. Barber Learning Centre toward the preservation of historical images.

The Reach currently has more than 35,000 photographs – obtained from the Abbotsford News – archived on its website (thereach.ca) that are available for use or viewing by the public.

“It actually takes thousands of hours of hands-on digitization work on specialized computer technology at The Reach’s archives and significant funds to record your history,” said Kris Foulds, curator of historical collections.

The Irving K. Barber Learning Centre has funded the project for the last eight years.

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; it has instead entrusted The Reach to conserve and share these images with the public.

The photos are used each year in arts and heritage programs and education packages, and The Reach shares a new Throwback Thursday photo and historical context each week on its Facebook page.

The Reach also recently partnered with Ravens Brewing Company on the label for their craft-brewed Clayburn Smoked Scotch Ale to provide a striking, marketable image and an accompanying history lesson.

Many of the digitized images have appeared in local history publications and enhance public foyers and offices.

“It motivates our team to see the fruits of their labours accessed by the community,” said Foulds, who depends on support staff to help accomplish the massive project.

The Reach is located at 32388 Veterans Way.