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The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in June 2012. It is an excerpt from their course Canadian: Archival Centres by Ryan Taylor. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).
Provincial Archives (cont.)
Saskatchewan Archives Board
P.O. Box 1665
Regina, Saskatchewan S4P 3C6
Saskatchewan Archives Board
Murray Building, University of Saskatchewan
3 Campus Drive
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5A4
Telephone: (306) 933-5832
The website provides good directions to reach both locations; the Saskatoon location is difficult to find on the university campus, so take a copy of the directions with you. The website also clearly differentiates the type of records held at each of the locations so you can be sure to visit the site that holds the records you require.
The Saskatchewan archives were founded in 1945 as a joint project of the government and the university, but the legislative library had been collecting materials since 1909. Unlike other provinces, these archives are overseen by the Saskatchewan Archives Board, which has an arm’s length relationship with the government. From the beginning there has been an emphasis on holding materials relevant to the lives of ordinary people as well as the government, and having a bearing on the history of the province. Local materials are thus welcome.
The website has extensive descriptions of the various resources for the province, and if the materials are not held at the archives, they refer researchers to the correct location, including addresses and advice.
Among the resources held here are church records (permission from the donor denomination is required for viewing in most cases), school records, newspapers (an active collection including current), court records, wills, township registers (arranged by meridian and range, not name) and passenger lists on microfilm reflecting the Library and Archives Canada collection.
Materials not here include cemeteries (at the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society), deeds (at land title offices), municipal records (mostly held locally) and vital records (at the vital records office).
Unique collections include the homestead records, which have a nominal index up to 1930 (after 1930 by land description only), pioneer questionnaires filled out by the elderly in the 1950s, and a large oral history collection. The homestead-record index is searchable online by name or location of the land. Some of the pre-1930 homestead records have been digitized and are accessible online. The undigitized records are available through in-person visits or reproductions may be ordered.
Most items at the Saskatchewan archives are accessed using a card catalogue and request slips, including extensive book holdings in the library. These include local histories, directories and telephone books.
The reading room is welcoming to genealogists. It is possible to arrange to scan, video or photograph documents. Some materials, particularly newspapers, are available on interlibrary loan. The two offices’ collections reflect their geographical location, Regina collecting for the south and Saskatoon for the north, but it is possible to have things sent to the other office if that is where you will be. The distance involved naturally requires considerable advance notice. Questions are accepted by mail, email, telephone or fax, but the searches are limited.
Guidance for family history searching in Saskatchewan is provided through the “Using the Archives” tab on the Saskatchewan Archives website. Collections at the Saskatchewan archives are sometimes featured in the magazine Saskatchewan History, a historical magazine published twice yearly by the Saskatchewan archives.
The principal guide to Saskatchewan genealogy is Tracing your Saskatchewan ancestors, by Laura Hanowski (3rd ed., 2006, ISBN 1-895859-07-7).
Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online courses
offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. To learn more about these courses or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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