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Heritage Abbotsford Society Launches Virtual Catalogue

Screenshot of the Online Collections Catalogue homepageAbbotsford, BC, April 23rd, 2021: Heritage Abbotsford Society has made its collections more accessible by launching its collections catalogue online this month. The Society, which originated as a grassroots organization in the late 1960s, has collected things with provenance to what is now the City of Abbotsford since its inception. Over the years, the Society has displayed the collection in a variety of locations, and currently some of the artifacts can be seen on display at the Society’s home base, Trethewey House, as well as in the Voices of the Valley exhibit on display at The Reach Gallery and Museum.

“Museums hold a lot more belongings than they can display and this is a great opportunity for people to find out about the stories which aren’t on exhibit,” says Sara Bremner, Heritage Abbotsford’s Conservation Technician.

With a pandemic in full swing, however, the Society needed to find another way to give the public access to its collections. For that reason, Heritage Abbotsford applied for, and received, a Pivot Grant from British Columbia Arts Council and the catalogue has now been launched virtually. The public can now find information about the many artifacts, photos and archival holdings in stewardship of the Society via their website, www.heritageabbotsford.ca.

“Online catalogues like ours are wonderful resources for researchers and the curious public, who can access information about belongings which are in storage, or may be in the stewardship of an organization located in another community, or even another country” says Bremner.

Much of the Society’s programing was taken online even before the COVID pandemic, and includes virtual walking tours, webinars, and virtual exhibits. To accommodate this pivot to a more accessible virtual catalogue, Heritage Abbotsford contracted a photographer, Sheila Louise Wright, and partnered with UFV to place collections management interns with the organization. “We continue to produce photos and scans of the holdings, but there are literally thousands of belongings left to photograph, so this will be an ongoing project for years to come” says Wright.

The Society will be launching its latest exhibit, The River People and the Land: Living with S’ólh Téméxw, on June 13th, to coincide with the 5th annual Aboriginal Arts and Culture Day. The public is invited to celebrate National Indigenous History Month virtually this year, with a market, webinars, children’s programming and gatherings under the Aboriginal Arts and Culture Day banner being held virtually throughout the month of June.

About Heritage Abbotsford Society

Heritage Abbotsford Society is the registered charity which operates Trethewey House Heritage Site under a fee-for-service agreement with the City of Abbotsford. The Mission of the Society is to collect, record, preserve and share the stories of Abbotsford. Operating from the Heritage Site, the Society provides heritage and youth educational programming and events to thousands of Abbotsford residents and visitors of all ages every year. For more information, please visit www.heritageabbotsford.ca