Thanks for your recent issue of Gardening on the Rocks. As a local historian, I was particularly interested in your piece about the archives and archiving of horticultural society materials.
The process started in 1996 when the Sudbury District Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society was asked to prepare an inventory of the pre-1955 original land registry documents of the Sudbury Land Registry Office because the provincial government wanted them to be shipped to Toronto to be digitized and then destroyed. From 1997 to 2004 Ron Lane, Land Registrar for Sudbury; Ron Henderson and Nada Rovenelli, City of Sudbury Library Staff; and four members of a special committee formed by the Sudbury District Branch of OGS, met to discuss the placement of the documents. In October 2004, Beth Carbone of the OGS Sudbury District Branch special committee, made a presentation to the Greater City of Sudbury Council and Ron Henderson prepared a report to underscore the need for an archives. In 2005, Karen Russell, Beth Carbone, Ron Jodouin, and Helen Nicholson, the special committee members, applied for a Letters Patent to become the not-for-profit corporation, Sudbury District Archives Interest Group. By the end of 2005, the membership was over 100 members.
Between 2005 and the opening of the archives, the interest group under presidents Karen Russel and Dieter Buse continued the lobbying for an archives. The group also raised funds and lobbied council for staffing.
Gord Slade, a retired VP of Sudbury Operations of the former Falconbridge Nickel Mine Ltd., was crucial to having the Edison Building in Falconbridge, the company’s former administrative building, donated to the city including a $110,000.00 cash donation for renovations.
The archives opened May 3, 2012.
To summarize: community groups, local university historians, members of city council and staff, and the general public contributed to obtaining the present archive. However, without the work of the Sudbury District Archives Interest Group, Sudbury still might not have an official depository with staff taking proper care of the city’s and the populace’s records.
Submitted by Dieter Buse
Local historian and Professor Emeritus, History, Laurentian University