Abbotsford’s extensive history will continue to be digitized at The Reach, thanks in part to a $10,000 grant from the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, BC History Digitization Program.
“This funding, the sixth in as many years from I.K. Barber, is crucial to recording and preserving our diverse and rich local history for current and future generations,” said Kris Foulds, collections manager at The Reach.
“It allows us to digitize an additional 5,000 historic images from a collection donated to us by the Abbotsford News and should bring the total of publicly-accessible online images to 31,000 by early 2016.”
The Reach Archives is the only source of The News images since the newspaper does not maintain an images archive; it instead has entrusted The Reach to conserve and share these images with the public. As the longest extant community newspaper, its photographers have chronicled the city’s history for over 90 years, and documented the changes, challenges and triumphs of Abbotsford.
Digitization has created a dialogue between images and context presented with knowledge and information held within, as well outside, the community. The digitized historical images have been used by local authors, for collector car show awards, and just recently, by the Abbotsford Downtown Business Association for its street banners and in the new Abbotsford Village to City book published by the MSA Museum Society. The Reach also utilizes images regularly in its heritage exhibits and complements them with pieces from its material culture collection of 5,000 plus artifacts.