Delta Museum and Archives fonds - Fonds Description

Title Delta Museum and Archives fonds
Description Level Fonds
Fonds No. CR-114
Creator Delta Museum and Archives
Material Type textual record
graphic material
sound recording
moving images
cartographic material
Date Range 1961 - 2005, predominantly 1969 - 2000
Note: further accruals are expected
Note: exhibit and project files contain photocopies of older material
Physical Description 5 m textual records
2184 photographs
34 maps & plans
9 video tapes
23 audio cassettes
History/Biographical On February 3rd, 1961, a group of prominent Delta residents met in the courtroom of the Municipal Hall on Delta Street, Ladner, to consider the possibility of forming an organization with the purpose to preserve relics of Delta's early history and to record the history of the municipality. Edgar Dunning acted as the temporary chair. On April 8th the newly named Delta Historical Society elected the following officers: President T.J. Robertson, Honorary President Leon J. Ladner, Vice president E.J. Vidulich, Secretary Mrs. V. deR. Taylor, Treasurer Mrs. Geo. London, Directors Barry Mather, R. Kittson, E. Dunning, Mrs. E.R. Bell, and Mrs. Hugh Reynolds. The society was not able to find a location for a museum, and, temporarily stymied, the group disbanded Oct. 21, 1961. In 1968 Delta Municipal staff and council prepared to move from the Municipal Hall on Delta Street to a larger modern structure on the edge of Ladner. On Nov. 4th, 1968, the historical society came together again under a new name, the Delta Historical and Museum Society, to lobby for the use of the old Municipal Hall, built in 1912, as a municipal museum. The first board of the new organization was made up of Chairman Edgar Dunning, Secretary Stella Husband, Treasurer George North, and Directors Frances Bates, Austin Frith, and Mary Brown. The Corporation of Delta gave the group permission to occupy the first floor of the Municipal Hall and to refurbish it as a museum. The Society incorporated under the Societies Act August 6th, 1969. The museum was officially opened to the public by Premier W.A.C. Bennett on November 10, 1969, the 90th anniversary of the Incorporation of the District Municipality of Delta. On Delta’s 100th Anniversary, the Delta Historical and Museum Society presented a proposal to the Centennial Committee that a municipal archives be created and located in the 1956 addition to the 1912 Municipal Hall. The proposal was accepted and funded by the Corporation of Delta as a Centennial project. Mrs. W.A.C. Bennett officially opened the Delta Archives on November 10th, 1979. In the same year the museum opened the village street, a permanent exhibit on the bottom floor of the museum. The museum and archives occupied the whole of the old Municipal Hall by this time, although the building itself, officially designated a heritage building in 1983, continues to be owned and maintained by the Corporation of Delta. The Corporation also continues to be the largest funding agency supporting the operation of the museum and archives. In 1979 the Delta Historical and Museum Society changed its name to the Delta Museum and Archives Society. Members of the Society subscribe to the Constitution and by-laws and pay annual dues. From 1969 to 1996 an Executive Committee, made up of a President, Vice-President, Past President, Secretary, Treasurer and four Directors, and a Board of Trustees, composed of four members, directed the Society and the museum and archives operations. In 1996 a revision to the Constitution changed the structure to a Board of Trustees consisting of 13 elected members, including a President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer, all of who serve two-year terms. As the museum and archives operations grew, paid professional staff gradually replaced the work of volunteers in key core areas: Director, Administrative Assistant, Curator, Registrar, Archivist, Archives Attendant/Assistant, and Program Coordinator. The museum's first paid employee was Mary Brown hired as Director/Curator in 1970, followed by Michael Duncan in 1971. Augmenting permanent full time and part time staff are temporary employees hired through federal or provincial employment or student hiring programs. The museum and archives staff became unionized in 1993. Volunteers remain a vital resource for the operation of the museum and archives, particularly in public programming, exhibit production, and creating catalog access to records and artifacts, as well as sitting on the Board of Trustees. The operational and administrative structure of the Delta Museum and Archives has changed over the years as efficiencies were found in organizing the work of more paid staff who had training and expertise in their own professional areas. Initially all operations fell entirely to the museum. When the archives was created in 1979 to care for the record holdings of the museum and to shoulder part of programming, the archivist, reporting to the Museum Supervisor or Director/Curator, administered the new department’s budget and operations. By the end of the 1980s the Director/Curator regained the financial, administrative and operational responsibilities for the whole of the organization, as well as having responsibility for museum operations. It became evident by the mid 1990s that programming needed its own area of responsibility and staff. The result has been that, by 2001, administrative duties and operational oversight have gone to a Director of Operations (now the Executive Director), and the operations of the whole are divided among three co-operating units: the museum under the Curator, the archives under the Archivist, and public and school programming under the Program Coordinator.
Acquisition Source Records transfered to the archives by staff members of the Delta Museum and Archives, and by board members of the Delta Museum and Archives Society.
Scope & Content The fond consists of records created and received by the Board, staff and volunteers of the Delta Museum and Archives related to its purposes to acquire, preserve, make accessible, interpret, and display artifacts and records that are about the human and natural history and heritage of the Municipality of Delta from pre-European contact to modern times; to operate a museum and archives; and to promote the aims of the Delta Museum and Archives Society. The records consist of Board and staff minutes of meetings; correspondence relating to donations, program planning and execution, public relations, and the general administration of museum and archives operations; press releases and clippings; project and exhibit files; grant applications and reports; public and researcher registers; and photographs documenting program, museum and archives activities. The records were irregularly transferred to the Archives from staff members. The records show lack of a consistent record keeping system, and reflect a high rate of change in personnel. Although there is a degree of idiosyncratic record keeping, the core functions of a museum and archives are identifiable and guided the arrangement of the records. Further accruals are expected. The records are arranged in the following series, listed in alphabetical order: Archives exhibit files Archives grant applications and reports Archives visitor and researcher registers Correspondence Employment and operating assistance grant applications and reports Minutes of meetings of the DMA Board Minutes of staff meetings Museum exhibit files Museum visitor registers Publicity Records of Board Committees Reference material Special project files
Notes Title based on creator of records
Finding Aids Series and file level descriptions available; item level descriptions available for selected photographs
Accruals Further accruals are expected.
Accession No. 1983-061; 1983-261; 1983-262; 1985-134; 1989-029; 1993-025; 1997-011; 2006-013

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