Episode 53 – Right to the Source

Annie York Secord's diary entries for January 29 & 30, 1916. Cold day, then Coldest day of the year.
Annie York Secord’s diary entries for January 29 & 30, 1916.

What’s the difference between a library and an archive? Why might you want to go into one versus the other? In this episode, Chris talks about some heartbreaking and complicated diary entries he read in the City of Edmonton Archives, what it’s like getting into libraries and archives right now with Omicron, and why it matters that it’s so tough.

This is a sample of Richard Henry Secord’s daily journal, describing taking his future wife Annie for a drive in January 1891 (by horse, presumably!).

Diary entry in handwriting for Friday, January 30, 1891.
Diary entry for Friday, January 30, 1891.

In these entries from Annie York Secord’s own diary in 1916, she describes spending time with their son Richard on his Christmas break home from boarding school.

In these entries, Annie describes attending a tea fundraiser organized by the Imperial Order of Daughters of Empire, and seeing the film Birth of a Nation. She describes it as “very fine.”

Diary entries for February 9, 1916.
Diary entries for February 7-13, 1916.
Diary entries for February 14 - 20, 1916.
Diary entries for February 14 – 20, 1916.

Peel’s Prairie Provinces has a wide selection of postcards capturing Western Canadian history, including this undated shot of York boats with sails in Manitoba.

York Boats on Split Lake, The Pas, Man., Canada. Peel’s Prairie Provinces – Prairie Postcard collection

If you want to access University of Alberta library materials right now on the main north campus in Edmonton, you need to place a hold and ask a librarian to have it ready for you here at the Cameron Library branch.

Cameron Library
Cameron Library

With virtually all university activity online right now, the campus is a ghost town.

Shout-outs in this episode to BGCBigs and the Edmonton Public School Board.

Further Reading

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