Saskatchewan

Sask. provincial archives closing 4 locations, centralizing at Regina site

The Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan recently announced they are consolidating their five provincial locations into one.

Saskatoon office set to close December 21

Saskatchewan's Provincial Archives are centralizing all operations into one location in Regina. (iStock)

For the first time since the mid 1900s, the University of Saskatchewan's campus won't have a provincial archive.

The Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan recently announced they are closing four locations and centralizing everything at one Regina site.

Currently, Saskatoon and Regina each have an office that's open to with public with another three locations in Regina used for archival storage and administrative purposes.

"A single location presents an excellent opportunity to provide better protection for our legacy records, as well as increasing our storage capacity," Linda McIntyre, a provincial archivist, told CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning.

She said the move will help make their services more efficient and reduce lease costs by more than $500,000 by 2021. 

McIntyre also said they are working on digitizing more records so people outside of Regina have access to the records.

It's just very disappointing

Charles Smith, a political science professor at the U of S, said having online records won't replace all of the Saskatoon location's services.

"The archives play a vital role of protecting the documented heritage of our province, and it's not just government. It's personal histories, private histories, public records and private records that would have been donated," Smith said.

"It's really vital to have access to those things and it's just very disappointing that it's now being cut to researchers at the University of Saskatchewan, but to the general public as well."

Smith said he's currently using the archives for a research project and may now have to travel to Regina on a weekly basis.

"Access to archivists are one of those most important things that archives provide because they help navigate what is an incredibly difficult process to find the records your looking for," he said.

"That will be harder to do online and it's harder to do if you can't come in person."

The Saskatoon location is set to close December 21, with the consolidated Regina office opening in August 2019.

With files from CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning

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