Chilliwack museum bolsters its online photo archive

An additional 8,380 photographs are now available for viewing on the Chilliwack Museum’s website, museum director Ron Denman announced this week.

Chilliwack Progress Photograph Collection - Train Accident

Chilliwack Progress Photograph Collection - Train Accident

An additional 8,380 photographs are now available for viewing on the Chilliwack Museum’s website, museum director Ron Denman announced this week.

The recent upload of images from Chilliwack’s archives includes photographs from the Norman Williams, Cecil Bradwin and Chilliwack Progress press collections, putting the total number of searchable photographs, objects and books held by the Museum and Archives to over 20,000. With these numbers, the Chilliwack Museum and Archives boasts one of the largest online publicly available historical collection of photographs and artifacts in the Fraser Valley.

“Our museum software program Past Perfect, has enabled us to become a leader in collection management and accessibility in Canada”, says curator Paul Ferguson who’s been working with the program for over 10 years. “The program has allowed local and international researchers to access all kinds of historical information about Chilliwack. This means that Chilliwack photographs and objects are being used in journals and books published around the world; families are reconnecting with their ancestors; students are learning about their community; craftspeople and collectors are studying objects from the past; and authors are finding inspiration amongst our stacks.”

The recent upload include the Cecil Bradwin collection, named a priority in digitization as the highly flammable nitrate negative film had become incredibly brittle and damaged. The 2000 salvaged Bradwin images mostly record elementary school photographs from the 1950s. Also newly online are 1500 photographs from local photographer Norman Williams collection of landscape and aerial images. Williams collection of cameras, recently donated to the Museum, are also online. Finally, the Chilliwack Progress Press Photographic collection now extends to include 4,000 more pictures from the 1960s, all scanned, documented and researched by Chilliwack Archives volunteers, extending the number of digitized press photographs to 9,000 – a mere fraction of the estimated 100,000 images left to do.

The public may view the online collections on the Museum’s website:  www.chilliwackmuseum.ca by clicking on “Search Collections”. Viewers may keyword search (ie. Bradwin or Progress) to find specific collections or topics of interest.