Have you ever wondered how one archivist, one curator, and one archives technician have managed to describe and make available online 3,884 archival records, 1,169 library records, 9,880 object descriptions, and digitize 14,781 photographs all while doing the rest of the work keeping the Museum and Archives running? The answer is simple really, we haven’t. A huge amount of our descriptive material is done by Chilliwack volunteers who generously give their precise time week after week.
Volunteers are quite literally the reason we have been able to describe and make available so much of our archival and object collection. Volunteers research photographs, objects, and archival collections and then put in the hard, and not always exciting, work of entering descriptions for each collection. The work is tedious and not immediately rewarding. It is however the reason you are able to search and find so many online descriptions of our records.
Today I would like to highlight one volunteer who has been volunteering at the Archives since April, 2012. Lawrie Edwards is a resident of Fairfield Island who moved to Chilliwack in the 1980s. Lawrie volunteers every Friday morning and he is a huge part of the reason we have so many descriptions for our archival records. I asked Lawrie today if he wouldn’t mind answering a couple questions and below is what he had to say:
Why did you decide to volunteer for the Chilliwack Museum and Archives?
I’ve always been interested in History. After retirement I completed our Family tree back to the late 1700s in Wales. My wife’s family on both sides settled in Chilliwack in the 1880s and so I decided to allocate a morning doing research of the Chilliwack area.
What type of work do you perform when you are at the Archives?
Mostly computer work, data description, and researching from the archives and through the archival Progress Papers.
Do you have a favourite memory at the Museum and Archives?
Every Friday morning is memorable but the 2017 British Columbia Historical Federation conference the Chilliwack Museum hosted was particularly memorable.
Is there anything else you would like to mention regarding your work at the Archives?
Just nice to be associated with a great working crew at the Museum and Archives (No, I did not pay him to say that).
Lawrie Edwards is an amazing volunteer. He’s been dedicating his time for seven years at the Archives!!! Once again, I’m going to borrow a phrase from my favourite podcast, The Secret Life of Canada, shout out to Lawrie Edwards!!!