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ARCHIVES ACQUIRES STEVE PETERS' PAPERS

The Archives recently acquired the papers of Steve Peters, comprising legislative and constituency office files relating to Mr. Peters’ service as Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP, Ontario Minister of Agriculture and Labour, and Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1999 to 2011, and supplements the acquisition, completed in 2010, of Mr. Peters’ files as City of St. Thomas alderman and mayor from 1988 to 1999.

NEW VIRTUAL EXHIBIT INTRODUCED

With the assistance of students from the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario, the Archives has published on its website a new virtual exhibit documenting the history of the Ford St. Thomas Assembly Plant, from its construction in 1966-1967, through the introduction of its first production vehicle, a Ford Falcon station wagon in December 1967, to its closure in September 2011.

ST. THOMAS TIMES-JOURNAL DIGITIZATION PROJECT

Two students, hired under the Government of Canada's Young Canada Works in Heritage Institutions and Canada Summer Jobs programs, spent three months this summer continuing the ongoing work of digitizing and publishing online photographs and captions originally published in the St. Thomas Times-Journal, ca. 1950-1985. Since work on this project began in 2009, more than 20,000 photos and captions have been processed.

ALMA COLLEGE BELL DONATED TO MUSEUM

The iconic Alma College bell, which hung for many years in the main stairway, has been donated to the Elgin County Museum. The donation is the culmination of several years' advocacy by members of the Alma College International Alumnae Association.

TWEEDSMUIR HISTORY BOOKS DIGITIZATION PROJECT

The Archives is nearing completion of the second phase of its Tweedsmuir History Books digitization project. Krista Taylor, former archivist for the Municipality of Port Hope, has been working since March 2012 to digitize, index and publish online the contents of twenty-seven Tweedsmuir Books, comprising approximately 4,000 pages and featuring hundreds of unique photographs. This work has been funded by the Elgin County Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, the Elgin Historical Society and the Women’s Institutes of Elgin County. The project continues work completed in 2005-2006, when more than fifty Tweedsmuir History Books were digitized and published online.

NEW WEBSITE DESIGN

The Archives is currently working with Guelph, Ontario-based Giant Goat Web Development on a re-design of its website which will incorporate Drupal open-source content management software. As a result of this re-design, expected to be completed by year-end, 2012, the Archives will be one of the first institutions of its kind in Canada to employ responsive web design, which allows for seamless adaptation of layout for display on all devices and browsers.

SECOND PRINTING FOR ALMA COLLEGE HISTORY

All the girls have gone: Alma College, the latter years, a new history of Alma College, St. Thomas, commissioned and published by the Archives and the Alma College International Alumnae Association in May, 2011, sold out its initial printing. A second printing was published in October 2012 and copies are currently available for sale at the Elgin County Archives, the Elgin County Museum, or by contacting the Alma College International Alumnae Association.

ARCHIVES ACQUIRES SCHOOL BOARD RECORDS

The Archives and the Thames Valley District School Board have concluded an agreement whereby custody and control of Elgin County and City of St. Thomas school registers created before 1921, and records of the former Elgin County Board of Education, 1969-1997, will be permanently transferred to the Archives, where they will be made available to researchers without restriction. The school registers will be digitized and made fully accessible online.

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