Tuesday, April 29, 2008 was a day that will go down in history for Archives & Special Collections in the University of Manitoba Libraries.
After over 5 years of fundraising and another two years of renovations and temporary locations, Archives & Special Collections finally placed their mark on the map, moving into their newly renovated and expanded space on the third floor of the Elizabeth Dafoe Library.
The achievement was celebrated with a grand opening of the new facilities, under the theme “Explore Uncharted Territory”. Over 200 guests attended, including the Honourable Diane McGifford, Minister of Advanced Education & Literacy, University President Dr. Emőke Szathmáry, numerous donors, members of the archival community and university staff.
The new space, which includes a state-of-the-art rare book vault, an archival classroom, multi-media room and reference room, was claimed as official territory for Archives & Special Collections with a “ribbon-cutting” ceremony – in this case, a flag-staking ceremony.
As President Szathmáry staked the flag, Libraries Director Carolynne Presser announced, “…today, the Archives have led us to this location – our final destination point – where, like true explorers, we will place our mark on the map by staking a flag, and claim this territory for the University of Manitoba’s Archives & Special Collections.”
Following the ceremonies, guests were invited to explore the Archives, and get a glimpse of some rarely-seen before collection pieces, including the King James Bible, historical maps, the Winnipeg Tribune Archives, and other items documenting our culture and the lives of Manitobans.
As Shelley Sweeney stated, “To our donors and everyone involved in making this project a success - you have helped us provide a world class facility – and we intend to keep it that way. Thank you, for your support.”
We thank all our guests for attending the special occasion. For more information about the Archives, or for individual tours, please contact Dr. Shelley Sweeney, Head of Archives & Special Collections at 474-6350 or by email at Shelley_Sweeney@umanitoba.ca