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About the Archives

Photograph of Simcoe County Archives sign and buildingOntario's first County Archives was established in 1966, and continues to be a leader among small and municipal archives. The Simcoe County Archives manages the permanent records of both the County of Simcoe and its constituent municipalities, and documents the collective memory of the County by acquiring and preserving the historical record in all recording media.

Contact:

Simcoe County Archives
1149 Highway 26
Minesing ON  L9X 0Z7

Hours: Monday to Friday 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

Map: Google Maps location

Email: archives@simcoe.ca  
Telephone: 705-726-9331 or 705-726-9300 ext. 1287
Toll free: 1-866-893-9300 ext. 1287
Fax: 705-726-5341

 

 

Mission Statement and RolesMission Statement and Roles<p> <strong>Simcoe County Archives Mission Statement </strong> <br> </p><ul><li>To acquire, preserve and make available both the documentary heritage of Simcoe County, and the permanent corporate record of the County of Simcoe and its constituent municipalities. </li><li>To pursue a leadership role in the field of local / regional archival services. </li><li>To promote a healthy work environment for the staff which stimulates excellence in service delivery, personal / professional growth and safety. </li></ul><p>- Adopted November 26, 2002 </p><p> <strong>The Roles of the Simcoe County Archives </strong></p><p>The Archives has two principal roles. The first of these is the preservation and promotion of Simcoe County's cultural and visible heritage. The Archives collects, preserves, and makes accessible to the public, the documentary history of Simcoe County. The Archives' extensive and important collection of maps, photographs, original manuscripts, magnetic and digital recordings, newspapers and other records make it one of the most highly-regarded "regional" archives in the country. The archival collection documents the political, social and economic history of Simcoe County. In addition to private manuscript collections, the Archives houses the records and documentary histories of schools, churches, businesses and all manner of institutions, and its earliest record, a leaf from the <a title="The Nuremberg Chronical at the World Digital Library" href="https://www.wdl.org/en/item/4108/">Nuremberg Chronicle</a> (<em>Liber Chronicarum</em>), dates from 1493. </p><p>The Archives' second role is to provide efficient permanent-records management services to the executive, management and administrative departments of the County of Simcoe. The same services are provided to the municipalities which comprise the County, and also, through a service agreement, for the separated City of Barrie. The Archives provides storage, organization and public access for the permanent-retention, non-active public records of the various levels of Simcoe County government. <br> <br></p><p> </p>
Archives HistoryArchives History<p></p><p></p><div class="ms-rtestate-read ms-rte-wpbox"><div class="ms-rtestate-notify ms-rtestate-read c87bc8c8-5e64-48da-b129-1b91135c2f21" id="div_c87bc8c8-5e64-48da-b129-1b91135c2f21" unselectable="on"></div><div id="vid_c87bc8c8-5e64-48da-b129-1b91135c2f21" unselectable="on" style="display:none;"></div></div><p> <strong>The Evolution of the Simcoe County Archives</strong><br></p><font color="#000000" face="Times New Roman"> </font><p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;line-height:200%;"><span lang="EN-US" style="color:#444444;line-height:200%;font-family:arial, sans-serif;font-size:12pt;"></span></p><font color="#000000" face="Times New Roman"> </font><p><span lang="EN-US">The Simcoe County Archives, Ontario's very first county-level archives, were opened in 1966 as part of Simcoe County's Canadian Centennial Project. Norbert Moran commenced his duties as Simcoe County's first Archivist on May 02, 1966, and the first item he accessioned was a photograph of the 1915 Simcoe County Council.   The Archives was officially opened to the public on November 22, 1966, as the new 2,200 square foot addition to the Simcoe County Museum was unveiled for the first time.  As well as transfers of public records from the County and municipal offices, the Archives regularly received records from the many branches of the Women’s Institute. </span><span lang="EN-US">Donations from private sources included all types of archival records – photographs, diaries, newspapers, maps, school textbooks, land records, directories, histories, and business records from local clubs and societies.</span> </p><font color="#000000" face="Times New Roman"> </font><font color="#000000" face="Times New Roman"> </font><table width="100%"><tbody><tr style="text-align:center;"><td> <a class="preview" href="/Archives/PublishingImages/Pages/about2/museum-archives-building-1966.jpg" target="_blank"> <img alt="Museum-Archives Building, 1966" src="/Archives/PublishingImages/Pages/about2/museum-archives-building-1966.jpg?RenditionID=9" style="margin:5px;width:150px;" /></a> </td><td> <a class="preview" href="/Archives/PublishingImages/Pages/about2/archives-reading-room-1975.jpg" target="_blank"> <img alt="Archives Reading Room, 1975" src="/Archives/PublishingImages/Pages/about2/archives-reading-room-1975.jpg?RenditionID=9" style="margin:5px;width:150px;" /> </a> </td></tr><tr style="text-align:center;"><td> <span style="font-size:64%;">Museum-Archives Building, 1966</span></td><td> <span style="font-size:64%;">Archives Reading Room, 1975</span></td></tr></tbody></table><font color="#000000" face="Times New Roman"> </font><p><span lang="EN-US">In 1973, the position of Assistant to the Archivist was created, and filled by Peter Moran, Norbert’s son.  Two years later, upon Norbert’s retirement, Peter was named the second County Archivist. A winner of the J.J. Talman Award for pioneering efforts in the field of local archives, Peter oversaw the evolution of Simcoe County Archives into one of the finest regional archives in Canada. The archives continued to grow, and a specialized 4,000 square foot, controlled-environment detached structure was opened in December, 1979.  Located immediately to the east of the Museum, the Simcoe County Archives continues to be one of the few purpose-built archival facilities in the Province of Ontario.  To celebrate its 10th Anniversary, the Archives launched an exhibit showcasing the maps in its collection.  Many were part of a larger collection of maps, photographs, and documents the Archives had acquired from the family of Norman D. Clarke.  </span> </p><font color="#000000" face="Times New Roman"> </font><table width="100%"><tbody><tr style="text-align:center;"><td> <a class="preview" href="/Archives/PublishingImages/Pages/about2/site-of-new-building-1979.jpg" target="_blank"> <img alt="Site of New Building, 1979" src="/Archives/PublishingImages/Pages/about2/site-of-new-building-1979.jpg?RenditionID=9" style="margin:5px;width:150px;" /></a> </td><td> <a class="preview" href="/Archives/PublishingImages/Pages/about2/construction-of-new-builing-a-1979.jpg" target="_blank"> <img alt="Construction of New Building, 1979" src="/Archives/PublishingImages/Pages/about2/construction-of-new-builing-a-1979.jpg?RenditionID=9" style="margin:5px;width:150px;" /></a> </td><td> <a class="preview" href="/Archives/PublishingImages/Pages/about2/construction-of-new-builing-b-1979.jpg" target="_blank"> <img alt="Construction of New Building, 1979" src="/Archives/PublishingImages/Pages/about2/construction-of-new-builing-b-1979.jpg?RenditionID=9" style="margin:5px;width:150px;" /></a> </td></tr><tr style="text-align:center;"><td> <span style="font-size:64%;">Site of New Building, 1979</span></td><td colspan="2"> <span style="font-size:64%;">Construction of New Building, 1979</span></td></tr></tbody></table><p><span lang="EN-US">While the Archives was created in response to the recognized need for such a facility in Simcoe County, it was not until 1981 that it was “deemed expedient to authorize and establish the mandate and activities of the County of Simcoe Archives.”  Simcoe County By-Law No. 3535 included specific objectives of the Simcoe County Archives with respect to Collection, Preservation, and Utilization.  In response to the mandate, the Archives undertook several projects during the 1980s, including the creation of card indexes for the maps and photographs in its collections, as well as the Andrew F. Hunter papers and the Fred Grant Scrapbooks collection.  Conservation services were offered, along with photographic reproductions developed in the Archives’ own darkroom.  The members of the County’s Women’s Institute branches had been long-time supporters of the Archives and, in 1984, assisted with the costs associated with the purchase of a microfilm camera.  Since then, more than 2,000 reels of microfilm have been created, helping to preserve the County and municipal by-laws, council minutes, and tax assessment rolls as well as the locally-published newspapers in the Archives’ collection.  </span> </p><table width="100%"><tbody><tr style="text-align:center;"><td> <a class="preview" href="/Archives/PublishingImages/Pages/about2/archives-addition-exterior-1991.jpg" target="_blank"> <img alt="Archives Addition Exterior, 1991" src="/Archives/PublishingImages/Pages/about2/archives-addition-exterior-1991.jpg?RenditionID=9" style="margin:5px;width:150px;" /></a> </td><td> <a class="preview" href="/Archives/PublishingImages/Pages/about2/archives-addition-interior-1991.jpg" target="_blank"> <img alt="Archives Addition Interior, 1991" src="/Archives/PublishingImages/Pages/about2/archives-addition-interior-1991.jpg?RenditionID=9" style="margin:5px;width:150px;" /></a> </td></tr><tr style="text-align:center;"><td> <span style="font-size:64%;">Archives Addition Exterior, 1991</span></td><td> <span style="font-size:64%;">Archives Addition Interior, 1991</span></td></tr></tbody></table><p>An addition in 1992 effectively doubled the size of the Simcoe County Archives to 8,000 square feet. Bruce Beacock was named Acting County Archivist in April, 1994, and a year later was permanently appointed to that position.  He served as the third Simcoe County Archivist until his death in 2015.  During Bruce's tenure, a formal records management program was developed for the regular transfer of permanent-retention records from the corporate and municipal offices, including the City of Barrie.  He also managed the Archives' Expansion Project, which resulted in the construction of an additional 10,000 square feet of space which opened in 2012.  The Archives' staff retired their typewriters in the late 1990s and began using electronic database-management software to describe the records in its collections.  New staff began to replace the retiring "old guard" and brought with them training gained through formal post-secondary education programs in archives.  The newly-developed Rules for Archival Description was adopted, along with other professional archival standards.  Significant acquisitions included the Simcoe County Clerk's Office fonds, and the James R. Gowan fonds.  </p><table width="100%"><tbody><tr style="text-align:center;"><td><a class="preview" href="/Archives/PublishingImages/Pages/about2/simcoe-county-archives.jpg" target="_blank"><img alt="Simcoe County Archives" src="/Archives/PublishingImages/Pages/about2/simcoe-county-archives.jpg?RenditionID=9" style="margin:5px;width:150px;" /></a> </td><td><a class="preview" href="/Archives/PublishingImages/Pages/about2/reading-room-2008.jpg" target="_blank"><img alt="Reading Room, 2008" src="/Archives/PublishingImages/Pages/about2/reading-room-2008.jpg?RenditionID=9" style="margin:5px;width:150px;" /></a> </td></tr><tr style="text-align:center;"><td><span style="font-size:64%;">Simcoe County Archives</span></td><td><span style="font-size:64%;">Reading Room, 2008<span></span></span></td></tr></tbody></table><p>The Archives Association of Ontario presented its 2000 Institutional Award to the Archives in recognition of its tradition of excellence in public programming, and mentoring, as well as being a model for archival programming and operations.  Four years later the Association presented the County of Simcoe with a long-overdue Corporate Award for "its foresight and ingenuity in the establishment of a county-level Archives and for its continuing vision and commitment to municipal archival programming.  Simcoe County has demonstrated imagination, creativity and support for Ontario's heritage and has also made a significant contribution to the archival community."  On November 28, 2006 the Archives celebrated its 40th Anniversary with an in-house celebration and the opening of an exhibit, The Face of History, at the Simcoe County Museum.  In 2008 the Archives' Descriptions Database "went live" and researchers were able to access on-line descriptions of all records that were processed after 1996.  The same year, Simcoe County Council approved an expansion of the Archives.  Acquisitions of private donations, along with regular transfers of public records, had resulted in the need for additional space.  Indeed, space was so limited that in 2010 the Archives found it necessary to issue a one-year moratorium on corporate and municipal transfers.  </p><p>Construction of the expansion took place during 2010 and 2011.  The County of Simcoe received Infrastructure Stimulus funding from the Governments of Canada and Ontario to cover 66% of the $4.1 million project.  At the same time, the existing records-receiving room was expanded into an existing vault, and part of the workroom was modified to create a closed-environment conservation lab.  Even before the expansion was officially opened on February 24, 2012, the Archives staff had begun to make use of the storage vaults.  The temperature and relative humidity levels in each vault are set to professional-conservation standards for the long-term preservation of the media being stored therein.  Film, for instance, survives best at low temperatures, and the Archives' collections of microfilm negatives and moving images are stored in near-freezing conditions.  Audio-cassette tapes and electronic records are also stored in a specifically-dedicated storage room.</p><p>In 2016 Matthew Fells was named Acting Archivist. He was appointed County Archivist in 2017.</p><p>Throughout the Simcoe County Archives' history, its mandate to collect, preserve, and make available the public and private history of Simcoe County has been supported in a myriad of ways.  County Councillors have provided the financial resources necessary for a state-of-the art facility.  Professional and technical staff have developed systems and programs that provide excellent service to public and private stakeholders alike.  Corporate and municipal records managers have welcomed the opportunities the Archives presents for ensuring the long-term preservation of, and access to, public records.  Private citizens have donated archival materials of all types which document the history of Simcoe County's peoples and their activities.  In-house and from-a-distance researchers have included architects, educators, genealogists, historians, politicians and students.  The cumulative effort of so many people has firmly established the Simcoe County Archives as an exceptional facility for the collection, preservation and utilization of the County's archival heritage.</p><p></p><p></p>
Collections PolicyCollections Policy<p> The Simcoe County Archives collections policy is found in By-law # 3535, which was passed 17 Nov 1981 to authorize and establish the mandate and activities of the County of Simcoe Archives. The bylaw reads in part:<br><br>"The objects of the County of Simcoe Archives with respect to collection are:<br> </p><ol type="a"><li>to act as records manager of all original documents, manuscripts, papers, records and other matters in the executive, management and administrative departments of the County of Simcoe;</li><li>to classify, safe keep, index and catalogue all matters transferred to the Archives;</li><li>to collect and preserve all documents or records having any bearing upon the history of the County of Simcoe;</li><li>to collect all documents or records having a bearing upon the political or social history of the County of Simcoe and upon its agricultural, industrial, commercial or financial development;</li><li>to collect and preserve maps, charts, manuscripts, papers, and other matters of general or local interest historically in the County of Simcoe;</li><li>to collect and preserve documents or records respecting early settlers in Simcoe, including pioneer experience, customs, mode of living, and areas of cultivation, as well as the correspondence of settlers, documents relating to public and social affairs and reports of local events of historic interest."</li></ol>The Archives will therefore collect any document, image, or other information medium, which helps to accomplish the mandate described in the above by-law.<br><br>Emphasis is on original, primary source material. "Artifacts" are generally collected by the Simcoe County Museum. Secondary source materials are generally collected by libraries. Either one of these types of records, however, may, under certain circumstances, be accepted by the Archives, especially as support material for primary, archival records. An archivist may be given considerable latitude in judgement when deciding what is appropriate for acceptance by the Archives.<br><br>When deciding if potential donations conform to the Simcoe County Archives' mandate, the duty archivist, and the donor, should ask the following questions:<br> <ol><li>Do the records document, in some way, the history, geography, geology, culture or socio-economic structure of Simcoe County?</li><li>Were the records generated in Simcoe County?</li><li>If neither of the above, do the records document the life or activities of a Simcoe County native?</li><li>Are the records principally original or primary in nature?</li><li>With respect to the above by-law, in what other way do the records enrich the Archives' collection?</li></ol><p></p>
Services and FeesServices and Fees<p> </p><p> <img alt="Archive reader" src="/Archives/PublishingImages/Pages/about4/archive%20machine.jpg" style="margin:5px;width:150px;" /> </p><p>All fees must be paid at time of order.</p><p> <strong>Distance Research Services</strong></p><table width="100%" class="ms-rteTable-default" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:50%;"><p>Research Rates (Search and Preparation)</p></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:50%;"><p style="text-align:center;">$7.50 per 1/4 hour</p></td></tr></tbody></table><blockquote dir="ltr" style="margin-right:0px;"><p> <strong>Note:</strong> There is no charge for admission or in-person reference services.</p></blockquote><p>    <strong>Photocopying and Printing from Digital Files (Black and White only)</strong> </p><table width="100%" class="ms-rteTable-default" cellspacing="0" style="text-align:center;"><tbody><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:33.33%;"><p>Size</p></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:33.33%;"><p> Regular Rate</p></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:33.33%;"><p> Student Rate (w/ ID)</p></td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default"><p>8.5"x11"</p></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"><p>$0.60</p></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"><p> $0.30</p></td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default"><p>8.5"x14"</p></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"><p>$0.80</p></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"><p> $0.40</p></td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default"><p> 11"x17"</p></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"><p>$1.00</p></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"><p>$0.50</p></td></tr></tbody></table><p style="text-align:center;">Please see our <a href="/Archives/Pages/copying.aspx" target="_blank">Policy on Copying</a>.</p><p> <strong>Photocopies from Microfilm reader/printers </strong> </p><table width="100%" class="ms-rteTable-default" cellspacing="0" style="text-align:center;"><tbody><tr><td><p>Size</p></td><td><p>Regular Rate</p></td><td><p><span></span>Student Rate (w/ ID)<span></span></p></td></tr><tr><td><p>8.5"x11"</p></td><td><p> $0.60</p></td><td><p>$0.30</p></td></tr><tr><td><p>11"x17"</p></td><td><p>$1.00</p></td><td><p>$0.50</p></td></tr></tbody></table><p style="text-align:center;"> Please see our <a href="/Archives/Pages/copying.aspx" target="_blank">Policy on Copying</a>.</p><p> <strong>Digital Image Scanning</strong> </p><table width="100%" class="ms-rteTable-default" cellspacing="0" style="text-align:center;"><tbody><tr><td><p>In-house, up to 18”x24”</p></td><td><p> $10.00</p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Custom in-house, up to 18”x24”</p></td><td><p>$14.00</p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Larger format (outsourced)</p></td><td><p>$10.00 per square foot</p></td></tr><tr><td><p> Storage media (CD-ROM)</p></td><td><p> $5.00</p></td></tr></tbody></table><p> <strong>Inter-institutional loan service</strong> </p><table width="100%" class="ms-rteTable-default" cellspacing="0" style="text-align:center;"><tbody><tr><td><p> $6.00 per order</p></td></tr></tbody></table><blockquote dir="ltr" style="margin-right:0px;"><p> <strong>Note:</strong> Incoming only - Simcoe County Archives is unable to lend documents from its collection.</p></blockquote><p> <strong>Micrographic Reproductions (Microfilming - positive duplicates only) </strong> </p><table width="100%" class="ms-rteTable-default" cellspacing="0" style="text-align:center;"><tbody><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:50%;"><p> Regular from existing 16 mm negatives</p></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:50%;"><p>$75.00 per reel</p></td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default"><p> Regular from existing 35 mm negatives</p></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"><p>$85.00 per reel</p></td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default"><p> Custom microfilming of original documents</p></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"><p>$250.00 per reel</p></td></tr></tbody></table><p> <strong>Digital Copies of Microfilm</strong> </p><table width="100%" class="ms-rteTable-default" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:50%;"><p> Digitization of microfilm</p></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:50%;"><p style="text-align:center;">$115.00 per reel</p></td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default"><p>Copies of previously digitized film</p></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"><p style="text-align:center;">$35.00 per reel</p></td></tr></tbody></table><p><strong>Copying Sound Recordings</strong></p><table width="100%" class="ms-rteTable-default" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:50%;"><p>Digitization of audio-cassette - basic quality</p></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:50%;"><p style="text-align:center;">$25.00</p></td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default"><p>Digitization of audio-cassette - preservation quality</p></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"><p style="text-align:center;">subject to contractor's rates +30%</p></td></tr></tbody></table><p><strong>Copying Moving Images</strong></p><table width="100%" class="ms-rteTable-default" cellspacing="0" style="text-align:center;"><tbody><tr><td><p> Digitization of moving images - subject to contractor's rates +30%</p></td></tr></tbody></table><p><strong><span aria-hidden="true"></span><span aria-hidden="true"></span>Storage Media</strong></p><table width="100%" class="ms-rteTable-default" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:50%;"><p>Storage Media (CD-ROM or DVD-ROM)</p></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default" style="width:50%;"><p style="text-align:center;">$5.00</p></td></tr><tr><td class="ms-rteTable-default"><p>USB Flash Drive</p></td><td class="ms-rteTable-default"><p style="text-align:center;">Cost Recovery</p></td></tr></tbody></table><p><strong></strong>*all prices include HST </p>
DonationsDonations<p>​The Archives actively solicits the donation of manuscript material, or of any data on any medium which falls within its collections mandate, and serves to achieve its mission. The Archives is also pleased to accept financial gifts which assist it in the performance of its mandate. Such gifts may be designated for general use, or for specific purposes or projects. They may be given personally or in memoriam; they can be acknowledged publicly or donated privately. The Simcoe County Archives is a registered charity and is authorized to issue tax receipts for both monetary donations and for the value of cultural property. There is no limit to the value for which receipts can be issued, subject only to Canadian tax law.<br><br>For more information, or to arrange a donation, please <a href="/Pages/contactresults.aspx?u=http%3a//www.simcoe.ca&k=archives" target="_blank">contact us</a>.<br></p>
NewslettersNewsletters<p><strong>Simcoe County Archives </strong></p><p> The Simcoe County Archives periodically releases a history letter covering a variety of topics. Below you will find links to past newsletters.<br><br><a href="/Archives/Documents/History%20Letter%202006-2007.pdf" target="_blank"> History Letter 2006-2007</a><br></p><table width="100%"><tbody><tr><td> <img alt="Orillia Times Office" src="/Archives/PublishingImages/Pages/about6/orillia%20times%20office.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /> </td><td> <img alt="Northern Gazette Office" src="/Archives/PublishingImages/Pages/about6/northern%20gazette%20office.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /> </td><td> <img alt="Barrie Examiner Office" src="/Archives/PublishingImages/Pages/about6/barrie%20examiner%20office.jpg" style="margin:5px;" /> </td></tr><tr><td style="text-align:center;"> <span style="font-size:64%;">Orillia Times Office</span></td><td style="text-align:center;"> <span style="font-size:64%;">Northern Gazette Office</span></td><td style="text-align:center;"> <span style="font-size:64%;">Barrie Examiner Office</span></td></tr></tbody></table><p></p>