Grand River Conservation Authority Donates Its Archives to the Library

Monday, December 7, 2009

Grand River Conservation Authority Donates Its Archives to the Library

Researchers in the areas of water management, environmental resources, and local history can rejoice! The Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) has donated its corporate archives from its first 75 years of operation to the Library’s Special Collections department.

Grand River Conservation Authority logosThis is the first time the GRCA’s papers have been made publicly available to researchers and students. The GRCA manages the Grand River’s water and natural resources on behalf of 925,000 residents living in 38 municipalities.

The collection contains a wide range of invaluable archival records of interest. These include minutes, photographs, negatives, slides, moving images, administrative files, news clippings, and items from the GRCA’s library.

Policeman hip-deep in water, Cambridge flood 1974

To date, approximately half of the collection has been catalogued, occupying a staggering 40 linear metres in the archival stacks. Once the final half is processed (another 40 metres), the GRCA will become Special Collections’ single largest collection, as well as one of its most intellectually significant.

The transfer of the papers was recently celebrated at a reception held outside the Doris Lewis Rare Book Room. At this time, the collection was officially opened and a memorandum of understanding was signed to renew the research agreement between the university and the GRCA.

Items from the GRCA collection are currently on exhibit in Special Collections' display cases, as well as within the department’s Reading Room.

Highlights of the display include:

  • Environmental monitoring records and instruments

    Environmental monitoring equipment
  • Photographs of floods, including the May 17, 1974 flood and inquiry
     
  • Items from the GRCA library

    Items from the GRCA library
     
  • Minutes of its predecessor agencies, the Grand River Conservation Commission and the Grand Valley Conservation Authority
     
  • Other environmental archives from Special Collections of complementary interest to the GRCA accrual. These include the archives of Walter Bean Grand River Trail, Muskoka Lakes Association, and the Canadian Coalition on Acid Rain

The exhibit will run through the month of September into October and is open to the public.

For more information, contact Special Collections & Archives.

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