Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Screwdrivers, Old

From the Annual Report of the Boulevard Overseer, 1915. City of Winnipeg Archives.
* * *

Last week I finally finally visited the City of Winnipeg Archives, which contain the Public Parks Board records.

I spent three solid hours there, skimming the annual reports from 1893 to 1916 and taking photos of relevant pages. I also pulled folders on "Assiniboine Forest" and "Trees" from the vertical files.

I took 254 pictures while I was there. I've spent the week and a bit since reading and transcribing pertinent bits. And I'm still only halfway through, which is okay, I suppose, given all the Xmas distraction.

One thing I'm proud of. There was a presentation that the Parks Superintendent George Champion gave at a conference in 1909 that was cited multiple times in the annual report for that year:

"We were pleased to have Supt. Champion attend the annual meeting of the Park Superintendents at Seattle and there read a paper on Winnipeg’s systems of boulevards. The paper was highly commended and copies have been called for by other cities for their guidance."

Which of course made me REALLY want to read that presentation. But despite looking in several other likely locations with the help of the archivist on duty, the report itself was missing from the archives.

I did a few cursory searches on-line, hoping that someone somewhere had scanned that year's proceedings (I'd gotten lucky with other proceedings, specifically that of the Western Horticultural Society...), but found nothing. I did discover that one of the libraries at Harvard had a copy in their holdings and were prepared to make a copy, but of course it will cost me $25 for the three pages.

Once I get my hands on a copy, I think I'll share it with the City of Winnipeg Archives. Because I'd REALLY like it if the next researcher that has her interest peaked could just turn the page and find it...

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