About the Archives

Two black and white photographs in a binder
We have thousands of photographs available in the archives.

Our extensive archives include:

  • Over 40,000 photos are currently in the process of being digitized. All photos are photocopied, given an accession number and a finding aid number. The photocopies are put into looseleafs by category for perusal by the public. The originals are placed into acid free sleeves and then into a metal filing cabinet for added safety.
  • Original items such as ledgers of old businesses of the area, minute books, school records, club and mining information are stored in acid free boxes and are stored on metal shelving. Individual documents are stored in acid free sleeves and in a metal file cabinet.
  • Arrow Lakes News newspapers from 1923 – present. Pertinent items were photocopied, cut up and pasted into looseleafs by category for easy retrieval by researchers. This section of material is named after Bob Swigart, the man who worked and created these files. We have recently acquired the Eagle newspaper of Ferguson – mining town in the Lardeau – from 1900-1904, and also possess copies of the complete runs of the Valley Voice and the Smallholder.
The 1st issue of Nakusp Ledge, on display in our archives.
The 1st issue of Nakusp Ledge, on display in our archives.
  • 2,000 slides, which include the priceless ones taken by former bank manager, Allan. He captured on film the sternwheelers, Minto and Bonnington, the old Nakusp Hot Springs, and the Big Bend mill to mention a few in the 1940s. We also have Jean Spicer’s wonderful slides taken on trips up the mountains to old mine sites and other areas, many taken in the 50s and 60s.
  • 500 maps, many from BC Hydro featuring the lake before flooding, and there are many aerial photographs from the same time.
  • 500 interview recordings with pioneers. Made by Milton Parent, author/historian, these were recorded when writing and researching for the seven history books that have been published by the society. People wanting copies of their family members on tape can purchase them with a copy of the transcription as well.
  • Videos, are now available on DVDs. These include the last train from Nakusp, the taking up of the rails, BC Moments TV presentation of Kootenay Hot Springs, and more. 24 Ichi Shiino movies have been made into DVDs.
  • History books and magazines from the West Kootenay towns can be seen from the Della Parent Research Library.
  • Rare older books are in the Edna Daney Special Collection.