‘Scrapbooks – Fragile Time Capsules’ offers glimpse into the past
By Colten Kamlade, Staff Reporter
If you’re curious about local history, the new online exhibit presented by the City of Coquitlam Archives might be up your alley.
Officially opened February 19, “Scrapbooks – Fragile Time Capsules” showcases pictures, news clippings, and other memorabilia from Coquitlam’s past. According to the City of Coquitlam website, these include pictures of the construction of the Coquitlam Dam, coverage of the Coquitlam Satellites women’s hockey team in the ’70s and ’80s, the Golden Homecoming event at Burquitlam’s Mountain View School in 1979, and the centennial of the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire in 1971.
Emily Lonie, city archivist for the City of Coquitlam, described the process through which most of these valuable items are acquired.
“Archival records are donated by individual members of the public—in the case of the Coquitlam Dam scrapbook—or representatives of organizations—[such as for the] Coquitlam Skating Club scrapbook,” she said in an email interview with the Other Press.
They cannot accept every donation, however, so the city selects items based on their importance to Coquitlam.
“In accordance with its mandate, the Archive acquires civic and private archival material of significance and enduring value to the City of Coquitlam. Under this policy, archival material includes any documentary material other than a publication, regardless of medium or form,” Lonie wrote, quoting the city’s acquisitions policy.
This means that ribbons, event programs, decorative images, and even ticket stubs can be donated to the archive.
According to Lonie, the oldest pieces of memorabilia from the scrapbook are the pictures of the construction of the Coquitlam Dam.
“The Coquitlam Dam scrapbook is the oldest item in the current online exhibit,” she said. “The photographs of the dam site were taken between 1912 and 1913 during the construction of the second phase of the Coquitlam Dam.”
The City of Coquitlam Archive designs these exhibits, at least partially, to raise awareness of the work that they do and to include the public in it.
“When producing our online exhibits, we are looking to raise awareness of the Archives and the records we preserve, to tell the stories of Coquitlam’s past, and to encourage donations of historical material,” Lonie said. “In the case of the current exhibit, we also saw an opportunity to provide some preservation tips for those with scrapbooks at home to ensure that they will be available for future generations.”