For over 35 years, the Sylvan Lake and District Archives has collected and preserved local story. The non-profit group consists of over 7,600 records and 12,000 images dating back to the 1900s.
“We are a valuable resource for anyone wanting information about the community and the people who lived here, (and) what it was like in days gone by,” said archives office manager Christina Lust.
Information about family members that lived in Sylvan Lake, cottage area details (from an inventory of over 300 cabins and older buildings), historical information about the town and old town photos among others, is the type of data available through the group.
The archives jumped to remote operations in March 2020 when the COVID-19 lock down was initiated.
After a few times of transitioning between in-person and online access, the group hopes to keep doors open for in-person operations with the latest lifting of the COVID-19 restrictions.
The Sylvan Lake and District Archives is located at the Municipal Government Building and can be accessed between noon and 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Visit the Sylvan Lake Archives Facebook page for further information.
The archives receives most of its resources from individual donations of photographs and print materials held by family members and organizations. The group also keeps a record of events as they happen.
The hard-copy files are preserved in a climate-controlled room.
“Materials we receive from the public are digitized, catalogued and placed in acid-free boxes,” said Lust.
The archives were a significant resource during the town’s centennial celebrations, helping gather information and photos for the historical pillars on the lakefront, said Lust. The group also recommends street names for new subdivisions based on individuals who have contributed to the community.
In 1984 the group published “Reflections of Sylvan Lake” and in 2000 “Recollections Beyond Reflections,” both of which are used regularly to research items.
The Sylvan Lake and District Archives became a registered society in 1998.
“We encourage organizations to donate their records so that we have the history of various organizations and encourages people to donate records to continue expanding on this resource,” said Lush.